The just ended Sports Indaba has started bearing fruit after Salima Sugar Company announced its K40 million annual sponsorship package for the national netball league.
Youth and Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda announced the news at the Malawi Sport Awards, held at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe on Friday.
“We organised the Sports Indaba to enable stakeholders to brainstorm and find alternative ways of generating resources with which to fund their activities. It was also an opportunity for sports associations to interact with the corporate world.
“Therefore, it is not surprising that Salima Sugar Company has committed to bankroll a K40 million national netball trophy,” he said.
Chimwendo Banda called on other organisations to emulate the gesture.
“We also have other companies that are supporting sports in a big way. For example, FDH Bank is doing great and they have just bought a new bus for the Flames,” he said.
The minister reiterated the call for companies to remit one percent of their annual profits to sports activities.
“We have a lot companies, banks and insurance firms, among others, that post huge profits but hardly support sports or give very little. This is why we want companies to be remitting one percent of their annual profits to sports,” he said.
Salima Sugar Company Secretary Charles Thupi confirmed pledging K40 million to netball.
“We will soon outline full details once we are through [with discussions] with the Netball Association of Malawi executive committee,” Thupi, whose firm also sponsors Super League outfit Dedza Dynamos, said.
Nam President Abigail Shariff said it was a dawn of a new era for the netball fraternity.
“We have welcomed the sponsorship wholeheartedly because it will complement what we get from the government and FDH Bank,” she said.
Despite being number three in Africa and seventh in the world, there is no national league for netball in Malawi.