Former Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa and three other officials, at the weekend attended a three-day International World Conference for ministers and senior officials responsible for Physical Education and Sports in Kazan, Russia.
Mussa, who has been moved to Industry, Trade and Tourism in yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle, was accompanied by Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) board chairperson James Chuma, executive secretary George Jana and Paul Silungwe, who is sports desk officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
According to Jana, the conference is held every four years and the last one was in Germany.
“It is a conference organised by Unesco [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organissation] aimed at promoting interaction among members on how best sports could be used to contribute to the development of countries and humanity be it economically, peace building, health, education etc.
“The conference emphasises on use of sport as a tool for development of socioeconomic development of countries and not individuals. It also provides opportunity for networking between the officials and countries. At the end of the conference, a communique is produced providing resolutions as to what countries must focus on doing in the years between the conferences,” he said.
Jana said while in Russia, they took an opportunity to visit the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism which trains athletes in different sports and sports sciences.
“Basically, we wanted to see what we can borrow in terms of ideas for the establishment of our own sports academy in Malawi.
“This Academy develops athletes from a very tender age [as early as six years dependent on the sport],” added Jana.
On his part, Mussa described the conference as an eye-opener.
“We learnt a lot of things on how our friends operate in terms of sports development and laying structures,” he said.