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World HPC boss to set national sports agenda

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Grace Chiumia, Minister of Sport and Culture, and the Association of Sport Performance Centres vice-president, Toby Sutcliffe, will this Monday in Blantyre set the ball rolling on domestic national sports agenda revolving around sports science.

The College of Medicine High Performance Centre (COMHPC) hosts the meeting featuring Sutcliffe, who is also the chief executive officer of the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre, which is in partnership with the Malawi facility.

COMHPC general manager, Augustine Banda Jnr, said Sutcliffe will give a talk on how to build a national programme to transform domestic sports through investment in sports science such as physiotherapy, bio-mechanics, strength and conditioning.

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“The University of Pretoria High Performance Centre currently produces 60 percent of South Africa’s medals at international competitions that includes the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, IAAF Diamond League and the like,” Banda explained.

“The Minister will tour the College of Medicine High Performance Centre and be able to appreciate the work and opportunities that sports science can provide for the nation whilst looking at the immediate future of sports in Malawi and how the nation can build its own programme that will allow athletes and teams to perform at a higher level in sport.”

Domestic sports associations, coaches and Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary, George Jana, is also expected to grace the event meant to create awareness and mindset change “that sport is a business and should be treated as such.”

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“The COMHPC, which is among six Africa accredited HPCs with the rest in South Africa, provides drug and alcohol testing services as well as fitness testing”, Banda said.

“Others services include physiotherapy, injury rehabilitation, bio-mechanics, nutritional advice, strength and conditioning, body assessment (body fat percentage, muscle mass, water content, body mass index and body mass index age), iron levels testing as well as performance testing to test brain alertness,” he explained.

South Africa top athletes such as Caster Semenya are the products of the Pretoria HPC where she is trained by Michael Semme.

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