- Govt to set benchmarks for associations
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Francis Phiso says government will set targets for sports associations in international competitions.
The minister said this will be done to ensure that only disciplines with the potential to succeed on the international stage get government funding for international events.
Phiso said: “We want to instil the spirit of competing other than just participating.
“Associations use taxpayers money for international tournaments and the expectation is that when they take part in such events, they should perform,” the minister said.
He said his ministry through the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) will come up with modalities on how the targets will be implemented.
“But crucially, we are planning to meet the associations themselves probably this weekend to brief them on the initiative for their input.”
On what will happen to associations that will fail to meet targets, the minister said: “If we are not performing in international events, then it means something is wrong and there is need to identify the problem and work on it before taking part in another event. That’s how it ought to be if we are to improve.”
While welcoming the move, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu and Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) general secretary Frank Chitembeya said they expect the targets to be realistic.
Said Nyamilandu: “We expect that there will be some form of discussion. It’s a welcome move because targets are essential in ensuring that there is attainment of results, but the targets should be realistic so that they are measurable, reasonable and achievable.
“The targets will also have to be matched by resources because appraising performance requires resources to enhance performance.”
On his part, Chitembeya urged government to go beyond setting targets.
He said: “The idea sounds good, but you can only measure success or failure after considering several factors.
“In this regard, government will also have to ensure that associations are provided with enough resources and on time. Nevertheless, we first have to wait for what government has in store for us.”
MNCS acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said there is need to find a winning formula.
“In this part of Africa, it is only Malawi which is not winning medals both at continental and world levels and we need to break into that. “There are things which if done properly, we can break the jinx. So, we are meeting the associations this Saturday to highlight our analysis of sport development status,” he said.