Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama has hinted at continuing with the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS), the previous government’s flagship sports programme which supported different codes with funding for grassroots sports development.
He, however, said that the ministry will brainstorm on how it will be implemented.
The assurance about sustaining the programme comes after the change of administration, which saw Tonse Alliance taking over from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the court ordered June 23 Fresh Presidential Election.
The new administration is reviewing some past initiatives with some being completely scrapped off.
Said Msungama: “There are things that we can emulate from where we are coming from. We really need to continue with the Presidential Initiative on Sports. As regards, how we are going to do it, we will work it out as a ministry.”
He said once the paperwork is done, he will meet President Lazarus Chakwera for his input and approval.
“I will sit down with the President with substantial documents. He is also very passionate about sports and youth programmes,” the minister said.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu said they are excited that the government is planning to sustain the PIS.
“It is the only competition that was played nationally and involved district teams. It is, therefore, pleasing to learn that it is going to be maintained,” she said.
Bapu added that the Presidential Cup has helped her association to identify and nurture talent.
“The presidential netball competition remains netball’s only sustainable sponsorship. The Initiative is NAM’s main talent development programme, so we are happy that it will be maintained,” she said.
PIS was launched 10 years ago and its annual funding has been at K120 million which was shared among over 30 sports associations.
However, in the 2020/21 budget presented to Parliament before DPP was ousted, it was hiked to K400 million.
But that national budget was scrapped off after Tonse Alliance took over power and it remains to be seen how much will be allocated to the initiative in the upcoming budget.