There was ululation and jubilation at Makanda Primary School in Ntchisi on Sunday, when member of Parliament for the area, Ulemu Jermoth Chilapondwa, launched football and netball sponsorships worth K1 million (about $4 000).
The launch was graced by Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana and Deputy Minister of Transport Sosten Gwengwe.
In his speech, Chihana urged businesspeople in the area to emulate the example set by parliamentarians.
“It was mainly members of Parliament who sponsor football in rural areas, yet we have many rich businesspeople who could also do the same. I applaud Hon. Chilapondwa for investing in sports as that will in the long run benefit the district,” said Chihana.
He also urged national football and netball coaches and their respective technical teams to patronise such tournaments to identify talent.
“It is obvious from the games we have watched here that there is talent in abundance. It will not be a waste of expenses to come here. There is so much talent in rural areas that can be translated into success at national level,” he said.
Chilapondwa, who is also Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said the objective of the tournament is to keep the youth active and also keep them away from harmful behaviours.
“The tournament will also provide entertainment to people here. Not all of them can travel to Lilongwe to watch football. But now they have their trophy and with their own relations taking part in it. We are also grooming future stars for both the Queens and the Flames,” said Chilapondwa.
According to Chilapondwa, K600 000 (about $2 400) is for football whereas K300 000 (about $1 200) is for netball.