President Lazarus Chakwera has said his administration will walk the talk by constructing the state-of-the-art indoor netball court as promised in their manifesto.
In his State of te Nation Address (Sona) when opening the 49th session of Parliament yesterday, Chakwera said the Tonse Alliance Administration will build new sports centres in the country.
“We will embark on a nationwide project to rehabilitate existing youth centres, build new sports centres including the National Netball Complex and a Sports Academy as promised in our manifesto. Simultaneously, 800 school coaches will be trained in various sports disciplines, sports competitions in all disciplines will be revived at all levels, 500 schools that teach Physical Education will receive support,” Chakwera said.
Once completed, the facility will have state-of-the-art netball court, shops and offices.
Reports suggest the first indoor netball court will be constructed in Lilongwe after abandoning plans of the previous administration who had earmarked Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama was quoted as saying that the project was originally planned to be in Lilongwe before Democratic Progressive Party shifted it to Blantyre.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) president Khungekile Matiya said the association was keeping fingers crossed on the implementation of the project.
“We are very excited that the President has mentioned it and it is our hopeful that it will be a reality. It is up to government to implement the project. We are looking forward to the day when the project will commence. It will give an opportunity to Malawi netball fans to watch big teams because we will be able to invite them,” Matiya said.
The construction of the indoor netball court will also be timely as the country is preparing to host 2022 Africa Union Sports Council Games where several countries are expected to participate.
On the training of the 800 coaches in schools, Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) chairperson Blackson Malamula said there is hope to revamping sports in the country.
“We are optimistic that all sporting disciplines will reclaim their lost glory. The new government is taking sports in schools seriously and we are very appreciative. We believe that sports will not be the same,” Malamula said.
Former late President Bingu wa Mutharika originally first promised the indoor netball court but it never materialised. A total of K200 million was allocated in the 2019/2020 National Budget for the first phase of the project.