Malawi’s annual Presidential Initiative on Sports 2013 programme is scheduled to be launched at the end of this month, according to Malawi’s Minister of Youth and Sports Enoch Chihana.
The minister told Radio 2 FM on Thursday morning that preparations for the games have started with the organising committee putting the logistics in place.
“The programme should start by February end. Currently, the main organising committee has already started meeting major stakeholders in reviewing last year’s programme and then planning for this year.
“Government remains committed to funding this project which is the main platform for identifying and grooming talent for the country’s sporting disciplines,” said Chihana.
He also said it is up to the organising committee to recommend an increase in funding for the programme which has remained at K120 million (about $353 000) since its inception in 2009.
Last year, associations complained that the funding is no longer enough in the wake of the devaluation of the kwacha.
Some associations, such as FAM, were forced to cut expenditures such as individual and team awards at regional level.
“The committee has to recommend on whether they feel the money should be increased and, as government, we will see its merit. We should understand that this is Parliament allocation which was already approved, but we may lobby for more,” he said.
Sports Council executive secretary George Jana, whose office heads the organising committee, said they are yet to come up with an official date for the launch.
“Consultations are still going on as we scrutinise reports from associations on how they used last year’s funds. We have also submitted our proposal to government and we are awaiting feedback and funding so that we start the main job,” said Jana.
Football has been the biggest beneficiary of the initiative, taking half of the funding as it is allocated K60 million (about $176 470) while netball gets K30 million (about $88 235). The other associations share the remaining K30 million (about $89 000).
Due to inadequate funding the other affiliates have used the initiative’s funding purely for developmental competitions while netball and football have organised major tournaments involving elite teams.