Manica Malawi on Friday gave K200 000 (about $800) to the Malawi Paralympics team expected to fly to London today for the International Paralympics Games.
Manica are the first company to assist the squad since the Malawi Paralympics Committee (MPC) pleaded for funding to put their athletes in residential camp some months ago.
Totally blind athletes Chisomo German and Janet Shedan and their helpers were for the past four days hosted by their coach George Luhanga in Naperi Township, Blantyre. That was after a week-long residential camping at Sports Council.
Speaking when he made the donation at their Blantyre offices Friday, Manica Malawi managing director Reiner Barford said his company is keen to see minority sports such as Paralympics shine on the international stage.
â€œWe were concerned to hear from the media that Malawi Paralympics was struggling to get financial support ahead of their London trip. They will carry the countryâ€™s flag at the Games and it is worthwhile for corporate companies to help,â€ said Barford.
He said his company thought of helping the squad after noting the overwhelming support countries such as South Africa and UK give to marginalised sports.
â€œI have just arrived from London where seats for the Paralympics Games have been fully booked and this means the local athletes will be exposed to a global patronage. Whether the athletes will win medals or not, participation in international games is important for any country,â€ said Barford who was accompanied by his administration manager Dick Ngalawesa.
MPC president Juma Mkandawire thanked Manica Malawi for the donation and urged other companies to follow suit for their next international events soon.
The two athletes are from Salima Secondary School. German, who is in Form 4 is from Kudaiza Village, T/A Kalonga in Salima whereas Shedan, who is in Form 2 is from Mvera Village, T/A Chiwere in Dowa. Their helpers Faith Labana and Chiyembekezo Jamali are both in Form 4 at Police Secondary School in Zomba.
Officials travelling with the athletes to the Games which will start on August 29 include Mkandawire, Luhanga, general secretary Griffins Machaka and team doctor Mabvuto Chawinga.