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Sports Council steps up Team Malawi’s welfare

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Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has stepped up Team Malawi’s preparations for Region 5 Youth Games after prioritising the general welfare of the athletes ahead of the biennial competition.

MNCS organised a media tour on Thursday to enable stakeholders to appreciate the conditions of the team’s camping at Malawi University of Business Applied Sciences (Mubas).

Sports Council acting Executive Secretary Shephord Boma said they were satisfied with the improvements that have made to promote the welfare of the athletes.

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“The impression is very good. The preparation we have done now is better unlike the other years. We had two camps previously but now this is the third one.

“We had challenges but let me thank the honourable Minister of Youth and Sports [Richard Chimwendo Banda] for his guidance and support for the budget to be approved for us to have these camps. We have camped here for the athletes to be exposed to the conditions which they will experience in Lilongwe,” he said.

The development as Team Malawi’s second camping in Lilongwe was embroiled in controversy hence jolting MNCS into action to avoid a repeat of the incident.

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Boma said they were finalising hiring of a dietician because the developmental games were important for the nation.

“Trainings are happening according to schedule. These games are for the youths who are the future. In this case we have future CEO’s and business partners among others. The food and accommodation is excellent I don’t think some will complain,” he said.

A basketball player for female side Angel Phiri, 15, said she had no problems with the food and accommodation.

She said her concentration was on the Games as they can give her an opportunity to secure a scholarship.

“If I perform well and if they see my potential I might be given scholarships to study abroad. Honestly, our coaches are hand in hand with us. Even though we are not really there but we are working hard. Our coaches are not sleeping. We are having night classes. We are not only working physically but also theoretically. It is about teamwork,” she said.

Basketball Coach Robert Munthali shared similar statements but added that the third and final camping was for fine tuning.

“We have to improve on areas which were weak and strengthen departments that were strong,” he said.

Team Malawi, which comprises 227 athletes and 55 officials, is expected to depart on November 27 for Lilongwe for the games, before the opening ceremony on December, 2, at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

Ten countries namely; Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, eSwatini, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa will compete for regional honours, while Mauritius and Seychelles will participate as guests.

The Under 17 boys football matches will be used as qualifying matches for the 2023 TotalEnergies African Youth Championship which will take place in Cameroon.

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