Malawi’s most decorated athlete Catherine Chikwakwa, who is now based in Scotland, has pledged to sponsor an athletics competition for primary schools to revive the sport in the country.
Chikwakwa, who retired from the sport in 2008 after joining the British Army, said it pains her that to date no athlete has broken her records which she set in four categories.
“We need to invest in school competitions. If we can’t do anything about it we should forget about producing athletes who will match world records.
“Imagine no one to date has broken my records in 3000m, 5000m, 10000m and half marathon. I set the national records between 13 July 2004 and 24 September 2006. This is a major concern,” she said.
Chikwawa, who was in the country, did not disclose the actual amount of money she will invest into the project but she hinted that she is doing it with the help of her two kids who sourced some of the funds in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) General Secretary Frank Chitembeya has welcomed the idea.
“We would like to thank her because only the wise will sow after harvesting. She is one of the few who benefited from the sport and went to greater heights.
“As a nation we have failed to produce athletes who could beat her records. However, we have hope that one day we will be able to produce athletes who can break her records,” Chitembeya said.
Chikwawa competed at her first Sydney Olympics in Australia in 2000 and she is the only Malawian athlete to win a silver medal at a junior World championship in Italy in 2004.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.