The year just-ended was special to Squash Malawi because of several scores for which the association should part itself on the back.
One of its successes was the hosting of the Malawi Open, which was sponsored by TNM to the tune of K3.5 million.
The event attracted quality players from within the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) countries. The outcome was fitting and perfect and this was possible because of adequate funding and good administration. Of course, Malawi players only reached quarter-finals for obvious reasons.
Secondly, there was an increase in squash sponsors such as AON, General Alliance Insurance, Mercury Products and as well as individual enthusiasts Gordon Benbow and Maziko Sauti-Phiri.
Unquestionably, another land mark in the sport was the introduction of the Lilongwe Squash League that attracted 48 players, including 10 women who played consistently during year.
The league was been spiced by a K2 million Airtel sponsorship.
Squash Malawi president Jimmy Kawaye said despite some teething challenges the league experienced, it really was a successful year.
“Challenges are taken as lessons and I am happy to note that managers of the league are full of innovations. Now, we have no choice but to extend the league to other regions. We are happy that the Lilongwe initiative has generated a nationwide participation and a youth programme,” said Kawaye.
He said the dream of his association is to own squash courts.
“We believe the future starts with 2015. The squash courts will be self-financing and with the input from varied abilities among us, I believe we should be able to realise our dream. I ask each squash player and executive member to follow me in this dream,” he said.
Indeed they say great inventions the world over are born from dreams and Kawaye might just realise his.
To squash fans, Kawaye said: “I am thinking of all of you who on a daily basis are putting in efforts to foster the sport. This is the lesson I am learning every day and it refreshes my innermost being that many souls dream, drink, talk and live squash.”
Bodybuilding also had its share of success in 2014, where some of the highlights were on Henry Master, Yasin Ichocho Suwedi and Mr. Mangochi (Brown Gondwe).
Ichocho had been busy all year boasting to the press on how he would wrestle the Mr Malawi title from Master only to lose the plot on the day of the competition. He finished third and wasted no time to announce his retirement from the sport, only to rescind the decision a few days later.
Master maintained his professionalism and won a sixth successive title. He got unanimous points from both judges and fans at the competition.
“I think bodybuilding has generated a lot of attention. I thank Ichoho for bringing rivalry in the sport. The unfortunate thing is that he is still far away from being a complete bodybuilder. I was not surprised when Gondwe finished second. Ichocho needs to work hard to define his back muscles,” said Master.
For Gondwe, his appearance at the competition was a warning to his challengers.
“I sent a warning to Master that I am going to give him a good run for his money in 2015,” said Gondwe.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station has since promised to take the sport to another level by increasing sponsorship.