The Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) has changed the selection criterion for this year’s representatives at the Airtel Rising Stars continental finals in Gabon in August.
In this year’s continental finals for the secondary schools event, Massa will send to Gabon a select national team, instead of a secondary school that emerges as overall champions.
Massa general secretary Blackson Malamula on Saturday said they had learnt the hard way from the performance of Malawi schools’ representatives at the previous two editions.
Joyce Banda Foundation finished in the quarter-finals at last year’s continental finals in Nigeria.
“By concentrating on sending a single secondary school, we leave out talented players from zones whose schools did not go far in the competition. We want to give a platform to many talented players across the country,” said Malamula.
Teams that performed well in Nigeria, including the hosts and Niger, comprised players selected from schools, hence Malawi’s change of heart.
The country competition has since gathered momentum at zone level in all the regions, to be followed by district finals on June 15, then national finals on June 28, Malamula said.
This year, Airtel has hiked the prize from K350 000 (about $875) to K500 000 (about $1 250) for the national championship winners. Runners-up will receive K350 000.