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Sports Minister wants athletes treated well

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MINISTER of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa, has advised all sports associations to treat athletes well for them to take sports as a serious profession.

The minister made the remarks in Lilongwe during the launch of Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) Strategic Plan over the weekend.

Mussa said it was sad that some associations deliberately frustrate athletes instead of motivating them.

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“Time has come for all sports associations to develop proper strategic plans to ensure that athletes are respected and treated in a good way,” Mussa said. “Let us take sports as a serious business. Sports is not a charitable thing. Let us introduce more incentives to inspire athletes.”

His comments come against a background that many sports personalities struggle to earn a living through sports.

Examples are many of current and former athletes who are destitute despite representing the country at  international level. He also warned all underperforming sports associations that they risk losing government funding.

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“It is high time that government stopped wasting resources on the sporting codes that do not perform well,” he added. The minister commended MOC for  taking a leading role in developing the strategic plan.

MOC President, Oscar Kanjala, said the 20132016 strategic plan faced numerous challenges but it was implemented successfully. He said in the new plan, the committee would try to ensure that more athletes qualify for international events.

The four-year strategic plan (2017-2020) aims at developing and promoting sports excellence, Olympism and Olympic education within the Olympic and Commonwealth spirit.

Only 14 out of 43 sports local associations have strategic plans meaning that the majority of them are run without proper strategy.

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