By Isaac Salima:
Vice President Saulos Chilima has said it is high time authorities did soul-searching on why the country’s athletes have not been performing well at Commonwealth Games.
Chilima made the remarks yesterday at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre when he received the Birmingham 2022 Relay Baton.
The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty, the Queen, as part of its journey to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in England in August next year.
“Our performances at the Commonwealth Games have not been satisfactory as we are yet to win a medal. This is the time to look back as what has contributed to this.
“The arrival of this baton also reminds us that days for the competition are drawing closer and it is high time we advanced our preparations,” Chilima said.
The veep further urged athletes to be proud when representing the country at the competition and put much effort.
He promised that the government would ensure that athletes receive much-needed support when going for the Games.
Malawi Olympics Committee President Jappie Mhango was elated.
“The baton is a symbol of hope, solidarity and togetherness. The baton has previously been hosted in Lilongwe but we thought it wise to bring it to Blantyre so that people can also taste how it feels to have it,” Mhango said.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama said the baton was motivating to athletes.
“This has given hope and confidence to athletes as they prepare for the games. We hope that the coming of the baton will help them perform even better at the competition,” Msungama said.
Chilima received the Baton from Tanzania Olympics Committee Vice President Henry Tandau. Thereafter speeches and other activities were held at the VIP lounge.
Symbolic sporting activities to be played at the Olympic Games such as netball, boxing and Judo were also showcased.
Netball legend Mary Wata had time to share the story of her 31-year career.
Msungama then handled the baton to a 100-metre splinter athlete Stern Liffa, who engaged in a road run with it from Chileka to Blantyre City Council for some sports activities.
The baton will also be paraded around Blantyre, Thyolo and Mulanje districts before being flown to another country on Friday.