Despite Malawi National Council of Sports (MNSC) offering sports associations office space in Blantyre and Lilongwe, only six have utilised the offer.
Sports Council offered the office space while Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) offered a starter-pack of K250 000 to each association to buy office equipment.
But out of the 22 associations, only six—wrestling, lawn tennis, hockey, netball, basketball, volleyball and athletics—have benefited from the offer, according to MOC administrative secretary Naomi Chinatu.
She said: “Knowing that most of our affiliates are not independent financially that is the reason we came up with this starter-pack just for them to be able to buy a desktop computer. Sports Council has facilities in Lilongwe and Blantyre and offered associations rooms where they can set up office. The gesture is meant to remove the briefcase syndrome of operations that has characterised most of our sports associations,” said Chinatu
She said for athletes to convince the corporate sector to invest in their brands they need to have a proper secretariat with a fulltime administrator.
“If you don’t have a proper physical address and no secretariat, it is not easy to woo sponsorship because companies and organisations will have doubts as to the safety of their investment. That is the reason most sports associations are struggling to find sponsorship or partners in development of their sports and instead depend on government,” Chinatu said.
Squash Association of Malawi president Jimmy Kawaye said they are yet to apply for the offer.
Taekwondo Association of Malawi general secretary Tinashe Mbawala also said they are exploring the opportunity.
Cycling Association of Malawi general secretary Jimmy Kadewere said they are yet to make good use of the offer.
“We are set to submit an application but it is something that we will do. We thought MOC will be doing this in phases but we will set up a permanent office,” Kadewere said.
Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM), one of the associations which have made good use of both MNSC and MOC proposition, acknowledged the positives of having a home.
“Currently, we have an office at MNSC building in Blantyre where we have a full-time secretary working in the office. Our president Godfrey Phiri is also based in Blantyre and he utilises that office,” said AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya. n