The Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs has asked the Ministry of Youth and Sports to end bias towards netball by either recruiting directors of all sports disciplines or abolishing the netball director’s position.
The committee’s chairperson Savel Kafwafwa said this in an interview yesterday, pointing out that their stand is part of recommendations in their report after meeting the ministry a fortnight ago.
The ministry created the netball and football posts two years ago with legends Mary Waya and Kinnah Phiri taking up the roles. However, when their contracts expired last year it was only Waya whose deal was extended by two more years.
Kafwafwa said all sports disciplines matter; hence, the need for government to render equal support.
“We know netball is one of the most prominent sports codes in the country. However, if we want all sports disciplines to develop, we should ensure equality in some areas. This is why we asked the ministry to also recruit directors for basketball, volleyball and golf, among others,” he said.
There are over 30 sports codes in the country dully registered with the Malawi National Council of Sports.
Meanwhile, Kafwafwa has said the ministry complained that it does not have funds to employ more directors.
“In this case, we advised them that they should just abolish the netball director’s position,” he said.
The ministry was yet to respond to our questionnaire at press time yesterday.
Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) president Pyson Likagwa supported the committee’s stand, saying minority sports are usually discriminated against.
“We are pleased that the parliamentary committee has observed this. Boxing is one of the disciplines that are sidelined. Look at the Sports Council board. There are two netball representatives and none from boxing. Government needs to change the way it views minority sports,” he said.
Netball Association of Malawi general secretary Carol Bapu has since expressed concern with the recommendation to abolish the netball director post, saying it has proven to be crucial in netball development.
“Since Waya became the director, she has done a lot to improve the technical aspect of our sport. For example, she helped to formulate a module for netball coaching courses. Added to that, she is the link between our association and government,” she said.