Sports associations have described 2019 as a year of mixed fortunes although positives slightly outweighed the challenges.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu cited the Flames’ return to winning ways at the Cosafa Cup after a two-year winless streak as notable stride.
“It was a turnaround in the Flames performance as it also resulted in the qualification into the group stages of the 2022 World Cup after beating Botswana,” he said.
The FAM president also said despite losing the K40 million Carlsberg Cup sponsorship, they made it up by securing a record K90 million FDH Bank sponsorship which will have the highest prize money for the winners at K25 million.
“We also secured the landmark Charity Shield sponsorship from Ecobank, leading to the award of best social marketing by CIM [Chartered Institute of Marketing] due to the support towards people living with albinism,” he said.
Nyamilandu also cited the completion of the Fifa-funded 5 000-capacity Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre, the successful hosting of the Cosafa Under-17 Youth Championship and that all national teams, including women’s side, were active.
On challenges, he cited Under-23 and women’s national teams’ failure to qualify for Olympic Games as well as poor showing in Cosafa tournaments at all levels.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Khungekile Matiya said: “It has been a mixed bag. We had successes and failures as well.
“Finishing sixth at the World Cup was remarkable, considering that the odds were stacked against us. We also did well in the continental African Netball Championship by finishing second.
“Increasing the number of overseas-based players from three to five was also another plus, the latest being Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda.”
Matiya also said securing a multi-million sponsorship from FDH Bank for the Queens and a national netball cup was also a milestone.
“We also have the Botsalt Junior Tournament in the South and Mpico Gateway Challenge in the Centre which will help improve the standards of the game,” she said.
On challenges, Matiya cited the Queens’ failure to play enough test matches due to lack of funding which she said affected the team’s ranking.
Athletics Association of Malawi treasurer Christopher Kabwazi also cited financial problems as a major challenge in the year.
“We depend on grants from government and it was difficult to operate because we receive K1.7 million a year which is a drop in the ocean, considering that it was too little to cover all our programmes,” he said.
However, Kabwazi said the association is doing everything possible to secure sponsorship from the corporate world.
Malawi Amateur Boxing Association president Pyson Likagwa said being a transitional year after a new executive committee was ushered in, they faced challenges as well as success indicators.
He said inadequate funding affected the operations of the association.
Said Likagwa: “We faced financial problems because we were not funded by Malawi National Council of Sports for three years, but now there’s hope as they have started supporting our programmes.
“We are still courting the corporate world to assist us because the sport has the potential to win medals for Malawi as was the case before.”
Hockey Association of Malawi general secretary Lameck Mughogho said they faced many challenges in the year, citing sponsorship for tournaments and leagues.
“Our activities were also affected since the main venue, Kamuzu Stadium upper ground was under construction,” he said.
Asked what the association is doing to supplement funding, Mughogho said they are lobbying for more sponsorship for all leagues across Malawi.
“We are partnering firms in managing the stadium, sponsorship of certain areas, marketing/advertising their products on our stadium boards as well as member contribution through affiliation fees,” he said.