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Sports

‘Not your family’

Blame game at Sports Indaba

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DID NOT MINCE WORDS—Madise

Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has taken a swipe at some sports associations, asking them to stop operating as personal entities, saying this has contributed to the dwindling standards of sports in Malawi.

Chimwendo Banda made the remarks Thursday during the opening of the 2022 Sports Indaba at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe, which attracted all sports associations and the corporate world.

The minister said it was high time sports associations put their houses in order to attract the sponsors.

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“For every association to be trusted, it must demonstrate good governance. If they are not organised, they cannot be trusted. If it is a one person association, they don’t want to involve others and go to annual meetings to seek fresh mandate, people will lose trust in such organisations. Some associations do not even have a bank account,” Chimwendo Banda said.

Chimwendo Banda’s comments come just a day after Sports Council dissolved Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) for its failure to amend the constitution and hold elections within the stipulated time.

The Sports Indaba will end today in the afternoon but the climax of the event will be the 2022 Gala Night Awards where some sports personalities will be recognised for their outstanding performances.

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Sports Council Board Chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said the gathering has potential to change the mindset of the associations.

“We need to sort out problems in the boardroom first, then we will come to the pitch. It is sad that some associations have become personal entities and we do not want this to continue,” Madise said.

Among others, the Sports Indaba is aimed at helping associations find alternatives ways of generating resources to fund their activities.

It is also an opportunity for sports associations to interact with the corporate world.

Majority of the associations rely on government through Sports Council for their activities.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) always get a lion’s share from the council.

The Sports Indaba has attracted sports administrators from over 24 associations including Fam, Nam Super League of Malawi (Sulom), Malawi Anti-Doping Organisation, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) and Volleyball Association of Malawi (Vam) and Golf Union of Malawi, among others.

In an interview Thursday, Mado General Secretary Leonard Sharra said the indaba was important.

“We hope that, at the end of the meeting, some associations will get some deals with some companies,” Sharra said.

Some Super League clubs namely Civil Service United, Karonga United, Blue Eagles and Ekwendeni Hammers also attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Sports Indaba currently underway in Lilongwe turned into a blame game between government officials and sports associations on dwindling standards of sporting disciplines in the country.

Majority of the associations said government is also to blame for failing to take a leading role in the development of sports.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) First Vice President Jabba Alide said it was a shared problem.

“All these years, we have neglected the grassroots. I can challenge you that if you go to government schools, you will not find sports equipment apart from football,” he said.

Taking his turn, Mado Chairperson James Mwenda said it was very sad that Sports Council has had no permanent executive secretary for over two years.

“Sports Council should lead by example instead of blaming associations. Let them tell us what is the problem to appoint a permanent executive secretary,” Mwenda, who is also former Fam first vice president, said.

In responding to the concerns, Madise said the executive secretary will be employed soon.

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