National Women’s Football Association has challenged newly-appointed Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) Development Officer, Memory Austin to put in place a system to develop the game in the country.
NWFA Chairperson, Suzgo Ngwira, said they expect radical changes in administration and marketing of the game.
“We want to see good organisation, improved structures from grassroots to top level. We also expect to see a lot of awareness, sensitisation and marketing promoting women’s football,” she said.
However, Ngwira said Austin must be supported to achieve her dream.
“Of course, we also expect better coordination of the game at all levels as you are aware that she will be full time handling women’s football issues. For all this to be a reality we need to invest in the person by letting her have a clear induction and training program,” she said.
Meanwhile, Austin was expected to start her job yesterday but she was advised to report for duties on Monday since it was a public holiday by virtue of being a labour day.
This is the first time Fam has appointed an officer in that capacity.
Austin said her dream was to steer the professionalisation of women’s football in Malawi by working with the NWFA in setting up standards and structures in the running of women’s game.
“I want to thank Fam for trusting me with this position because it has been my dream all along to be a leader in developing women’s football. I want to bring women’s football to a greater level.
“I want to help Malawi women’s football grow to be among the best in Africa and beyond. People should be talking about women’s football in Malawi. It should be so vibrant, exciting and fun,” she said.
Among others, Austin will be responsible for supporting the planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of key national women’s football events such as Fifa women’s football development programs and national training programs; Stimulating the profile of the women’s football in Malawi and inspire young girls to get involved in the game including promotion of all opportunities on the Fam’s website, facebook, twitter and press releases; Supporting Regional Women’s football Committees in the running of the leagues and competitions by attending league meetings and matches.
Austin holds an Honours Degree in Physiotherapy from the College of Medicine and has played football at top level.
She was until her appointment, playing as an attacking midfielder for Southern Region Elite Women’s Football League side Ntopwa Super Queens. At the same time, she was working as a physiotherapy consultant at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.
The 30 year old also captained the College of Medicine women’s football team and served as Technical Director and player for Ndirande-based Kings Women’s team.
She also served as Team Manager for Bangwe under-20 women’s team.
Currently she is undergoing a Women in Sports Leadership Course with the Malawi National Council of sports.
“I started playing football when I was eight. I grew up spending most of my times with my brother and I was always there watching him play football with his friends. Sometimes when they were not enough, they could ask me to join and balance up the numbers. I was eight years old then and that is the time when I started playing football.
“We never had women’s football teams in primary and secondary but because I loved the game, I joined the boys’ training sessions. I only started playing in a Women’s team at the College of Medicine,” she said.-Additional reporting Fam Media.