Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) launched the inaugural Youth League at Hockey Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday, thanks to K300 000 sponsorship from Monolux Paints.
Monolux Paints were previously bankrolling the sport at the senior level but the company’s general manager Tinu Gill said they have now shifted focus to youth development because it has long-term benefits.
He said: “We are excited to have partnered Hockey Association of Malawi [HAM] in this great initiative that will help to grow and nurture talent.”
“As a company, we enjoyed sponsoring the sport at senior level for a long time, but we realised the teams lacked continuity due to the unavailability of proper nursery to feed the existing clubs with talent. We believe we will not have sustainability problems if we concentrate much on developing young talent.”
According to HAM general secretary Chigo Thindwa, the league, which will be played in under-10, under-14 and under-17 categories for both boys and girls, will initially involve schools and clubs around Blantyre.
The league will run for five weeks between May and June. The games will be played at the Hockey Stadium on Thursdays and Fridays every week,” he said.
In the under-10 category, participating teams are Kadish Academy, Mini Me Montessori, Nyasa Junior Academy and Imperial Primary School. The under-14 section has Kanjedza, Limbe, St Kizito, Blantyre Baptist and Namiwawa primary schools alongside Kadish Academy, Scorpions Academy and Central High School.
Zingwangwa and Army secondary schools will tussle in the under-17 section along with St Patrick’s Academy, Limbe, St Kizito and Kanjedza primary schools.