The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) strategic plan has been pinned on enhancing revenue generation, promoting athletes’ welfare, improving infrastructure and creating a conducive environment for people with disabilities to take part in sports.
The council’s acting executive secretary Henry Mereka disclosed this in an interview yesterday, saying the five-year (2021-25) plan’s draft document is ready for its stakeholders’ perusal and input.
He said: “Our key objective is to ensure that sports is expanding and making a meaningful contribution to the country’s socio- economic development.”
MNCS is a government agency that implements sports policies under the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It also oversees over 40 sports codes, including football and netball.
Mereka observed that there is heavy reliance on government for funding, a development that has stifled progress of the sports industry.
“We need to work on means to partly raise funds for ourselves. Depending on one source is not viable. So, we will do our best to come up with means to increase revenue. This will include, introducing e-ticketing and a number of fundraising activities,” he said.
Mereka further said that they intend to introduce a welfare scheme for athletes to avert the struggles they face due to being underpaid.
“We would like to empower athletes through provision of entrepreneurship and vocational skills so that they can still live comfortably after retiring,” he said.
On promoting sports among people with disabilities, Mereka said they will improve the infrastructure to ensure that the facilities are accessed by all.
Malawi Paralympics Committee president James Chiutsi has urged the council to also consider diversifying disability sports.
“At the moment, emphasis has been on athletics. There is need for adequate provisions of funds to develop other sport disciplines. Equipment for sport for people with disabilities, like wheel chairs, assistive technology equipment like prosthesis isn’t cheap,” he said.
Basketball Association of Malawi general secretary Peter Gomani said they want to see the strategic plan “building capacity of administrators, coaches and athletes, promote grassroots sports and improving sports infrastructure in schools”.