Malawi National Council of Sports board has admitted that it has a huge task to improve the standards of sports in the country.
The council’s board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said this in an interview yesterday as they look forward to getting down to work this week.
The board will have its first internal orientation and meeting this Friday, four months after its appointment by President Lazarus Chakwera alongside other parastatal boards. It was still waiting for its confirmation.
Said Madise: “Generally, Malawians have seen a decline not only in quantity but also quality.
“We need to reverse this trend and to achieve this, we need to work with various associations. We need unity of purpose and our purpose must be to deliver top-class sports to Malawians.
“So, the overall challenge is to uplift sports back to pedestal.
“Ordinarily, we would do this one discipline at a time, but Malawians don’t have that patience. Their patience run out a long time ago.”
The former Football Association of Malawi (FAM) vice-president said to achieve this, it will require heavy multitasking.
“To get back to winning ways, we need to get back to the basics. We need to restart from the grass roots.
“It means getting down to the trenches and getting dirty from day one. There is no other way. But we can, yes we can and we must do it because there is no other option,” he said.
Madise, who teaches law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, also said the Covid-19 pandemic poses a big challenge.
“It has hit sports hard, not only in terms of activities, but also the much-needed revenue and sponsorship.
“We, therefore, need to ensure all our programming factors in the pandemic, especially spectator sport.”
Commenting on the first meeting, the Sports Council chair said they will put in place various committees to ensure that they function smoothly.
“I think I can speak for the board to say we are all excited with the task ahead. We don’t underestimate the huge task ahead though, but we are geared to give it our best shot,” he said.
The council’s acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said they are excited that finally they have a board in place.
“As I said, without a board in place, we could not implement policies and that meant in essence we could not function properly,” he said.
Mereka said that during its first meeting the board will establish its structures that look into sports development, finances and administration, audit issues and fundraising and marketing.
“We haven’t had a board for some time and it was quite a challenge.
“We have to report to them about the Covid-19 and its impact on the strategic plan for 2021 to 2025; reform areas and [they have to] assess how we are progressing,” said Mereka.
Other board members include Rosina Kazembe, Hellen Mpinganjira and Charles Ulaya.