The Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms has challenged Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) should to be a role model to sports associations on commercialisation drive.
This follows a meeting the committee had with the local sports overseer in Blantyre on Wednesday.
The committee’s chairperson Noel Lipipa yesterday said local sports associations can embrace commercialisation if the council proves that it is possible for sports to contribute to the economic development of the country.
He said: “Our meeting was aimed at following up on the progress that the council has made so far in terms of implementing reforms and what measures they have put in place to ensure commercialisation success.
“As sports overseer in the country, the council needs to prove to sports associations that success in commercialisation is possible. They are supposed to guide the associations on how to do it but we hardly see that at present.”
He added that the committee advised the council not to let disciplines such as football go astray under its watch and that there is need to sit down to identify a discipline that can easily market the country on the international scene as is the case with countries such as Kenya, who are synonymous with athletics.
MNCS acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said the council is making progress on the reforms.
“On enhancing the financial sustainability of the council, we are already doing so much. For example, we are developing a vibrant marketing platform by, among others, organising the Blantyre Marathon and Malawi Sport Award. We also have a restaurant and we are developing a garden for events such as weddings,” he said.
Mereka said they are also working hard to empower sports associations to mobilise resources and embrace changes that come with commercialisation.
“We would like to ensure there is professional management of sports associations through financial accountability and developing of proper sponsorship proposals so that they can be trusted by corporate partners,” he said.
The council is also implementing two reform areas, namely introduction of physical education in primary schools and establishment of electronic gate management systems in stadia.
The development comes a few months after Vice-President Saulos Chilima told the council to embrace reforms on financial sustainability.