Government says swimming should not be for the elite only and has pledged to ensure that all Malawians are offered an opportunity to participate in the sport.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila said this on Tuesday when he opened the Africa Swimming Confederation (Cana) Zone IV Championship.
The 14-nation tournament is being held at Africa Bible College (ABC) in Lilongwe and will end on Saturday.
Malawi has 32 swimmers at the event most of them drawn from elite schools and families.
Kasaila said it was a major concern that most Malawian youths are sidelined from swimming which he described as an important sport as it is part of the Olympic Games.
“We will ensure that youths at district level have the facilities like swimming pools which will help inspire local Malawians to take part in swimming competitions. We, therefore, urge the private sector to ensure they support these projects,” he said.
Cana Zone IV president Jace Naidoo said it was not only in Malawi that the sport is participated by the elite.
“This problem is everywhere in the region. But we have seen some countries like South Africa making progress. They have constructed pools in local schools and we have seen much talent being exposed through that,” he said.
At the start of competition on Tuesday morning, no Malawian swimmer had won a medal but Aquatic Association of Malawi president Willy Tafatatha was positive.
“Most of the categories we participated in were tough ones but we are optimistic that we will win medals.”