The country’s only extreme sport, the Mulanje Mountain Porters Race scheduled for July, is the latest event to be put on hold due to the Covid-19.
Organisers of the event, Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT), have decided to put on hold the race which attracts over 700 participants including some from as far as Europe.
MMCT education and communication officer Kondwani Chamwala, who is also the competition’s coordinator, confirmed the development, saying it will be impossible to hold the event in June this year due to the coronavirus.
“We have written the Ministry of Tourism on the matter. We feel it will not be possible to hold the event in July due to the coronavirus,” he said.
Government has imposed a ban on all public gatherings, including sports events, which directly affects the Mulanje Mountain Porters Race.
Besides helping the conservation of Mulanje Mountain, the race is also used to attract tourists.
“With the current lockdown including international travel ban, it will not be possible for athletes from other countries to participate in the event,” said Chamwala.
“Sponsors would think we are mad if we are to approach them to sponsor the vent when we are not sure that the event will be held at all. So the best way is to shift it to next year.”
Last year Sunbird Hotels and Resorts partnered MMCT in the 2019 edition of the Mount Mulanje race.
Sunbird group sales and marketing manager Temwa Kanjadza said they are yet to hear from MMCT on this year’s event.
Mulanje Porters’ Race which attracts over 5000 spectators takes place at Likhubula Valley, right at the foot of the Mulanje Mountain.
The 24-kilometre race takes the athletes through a rocky and hazardous route to Chambe Plateau about 2 500 metres above sea level to Lichenya Plateau and back to Likhubula.
The race has previously produced athletes such as Tereza Master, Doris Fisher, Francis Khanje, Charles Musowa, EvanceNyazule and Leo Chakhaza.