Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has told sports associations to join competitions only when they are sure of sourcing funds as government will no longer provide additional funding.
MNCS executive secretary George Jana said due to the current financial constraints, it is not proper for sports bodies to join every competition that comes their way.
“We have noticed that, in most instances, associations want to enter a competition only because it has been offered to them, not after first ascertaining where funding would come from,” Jana said.
“This habit has not helped our sport development agenda as the current financial situation does not give us that freedom. We, therefore, insist that we only join competitions that are necessary and important, and ensure there is a programme or activity that will benefit the association or the sport after such an event. We call for self-sacrifice for the benefit of the nation and its people without compromise on quality.”
He added that MNCS advice has always been for associations to live within their budget lines and consider factors such as number of people, duration in camp, accommodation and travel.
Jana’s sentiments come against a backdrop of Netball Association of Malawi’s (NAM) intention to let Malawi Queens participate in the 2016 Fast5 Netball Series that requires K80 million, yet only K24 million remains from the K360 million Airtel Money sponsorship.
NAM has been allocated K34 million in the 2016/17 National Budget, which has gone towards Under-21 national team’s K55 million budget for the Africa Youth Netball Championship in Botswana next week.
Jana said they will sit down with NAM to see how best to sort out the current financial problem.
But responding to Jana’s advice, NAM president Rosy Chinunda said: “This is really a wake-up call. We will see how to go about the sourcing of additional funding from other avenues, especially the corporate world and fundraising activities. We will try our best to be aggressive on these issues this time around.”
According to Chinunda, they have been convinced to take part in the Fast5 contest in Melbourne Australia this October because the organisers have pledged to meet return air-tickets and accommodation, but they need funds for ample preparations and allowances.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, whose association has frequently banked on additional funding from government to fulfil the Flames’ engagements such as the World Cup qualifiers, has described MNCS’s advice as a mere constraint.
“We cannot prioritise when we do not have funds. This is as good as telling associations not to participate in international competitions at all,” said Nyamilandu, whose association has also been allocated K34 million in the national budget, which is 67 percent less than the K100 million they got in the previous financial year.
He said his association has its own initiatives of generating funds such as replica jersey sales, sponsorship from Carlsberg Malawi Limited and gate revenue but these funds are not sufficient for all their engagements.
But Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) general secretary Frank Chitembeya concurred with Chinunda that the advice is an eye-opener to associations to focus much on fundraising activities so as to have all their programmes fulfilled.
“We really need to engage an extra gear to supplement on government support. As AAM, we just thank the council for its support despite the financial hardships,” he said.