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Sports Council puts foot down on guidelines

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UNMOVED—Ntulumbwa

By Isaac Salima & Mphatso Malidadi:

Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has asked associations to stop making false accusations on the newly introduced sport associations guidelines that have been launched to help in sport development.

MNCS Public Relations and Communications Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa disputed claims that the council did not consult the associations.

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“The guidelines were formulated to develop sports in the country not to please or injure any particular individual or discipline. This is a process which started three years ago and some individuals are reacting because they think it is a campaign against them,” he said.

Ntulumbwa said they were expecting sport associations to seek guidance or clarification from the council on how to go about the guidelines.

“For instance, they are claiming that we should have specified Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management. However, we feel any degree holder is good enough to manage sports because the reasoning is different from any person who does not have one. Secondly, you can agree with me that most associations are idle because they lack strategic plans,” he said.

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Ntulumbwa was reacting to calls from leaders of some sports associations who are calling for consultations on the guidelines.

Ironically, most of the associations, interviewed, welcomed the idea but asked for a review in order for the guidelines to be in tandem with constitutions of their respective international bodies.

Among other things, the associations are questioning the time limit, which has been reduced to three years from four.

They also feel Sports Council should specify on qualifications especially on bachelor’s degree, which is a requirement for chairperson post.

Taekwondo Association of Malawi President Chitty Nkhwazi said the guidelines were important but misdirected.

“Perhaps, Sports Council should have consulted us first because there are a lot of grey areas in the guidelines. For instance, anyone wishing to contest for the post of chairperson must have a bachelor’s degree. Does it mean any bachelor’s degree be it of agriculture or engineering? Maybe, if they had specified sports management or business administration as preferences it would have made sense.

“Again, limiting the term just to three years it is regressive. You need at least four years to implement what is in the strategic plan. Besides, every local sports body drafts its constitution in line with its respective international body,” Nkhwazi said.

Similarly, Volleyball Association of Malawi President James Kaunda asked MNCS to consult before redoing the guidelines.

“The guidelines have brought a lot of talk not because associations do not want quality personnel; in fact, for development and good management of sports, they look fine.

“The only problem is that Sports Council never consulted the association. Certain issues we have in our constitution are in tandem with our governing bodies. Term of office is not three years. Most of them is four years and some is open ended for different experiences they have witnessed. So, what is better is the process of consultation. This will bring good results to all,” he said.

Table Tennis Association of Malawi General Secretary William Nyirenda shared the sentiments.

“The constitution of each body is aligned with provisions of constitutions of international bodies,” he said.

Malawi Boxing Association President Pyson Likagwa said they were not against the guidelines but the process which was followed.

“Let council consult us. We should be realistic on qualifications and duration of term limit. If they had consulted people, no association would have questioned some of the guidelines,” he said.

Canoeing Association of Malawi President Patterson Mwanjonyonga echoed the remarks.

“To me, they seem to have been done without information from the associations. If they had consulted us, we would have guided them on what our international federation says. Currently, Malawi Olympic Committee is training administrators and it was important to get views from them,” he said.

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