In a bid to develop sports from the grassroots, Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda, on Sunday, February 17, 2013, announced the introduction of inter-constituency football and netball leagues, which she will personally bankroll through her Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) International.
The President made the announcement at her official Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when she hosted a group of officials from One World Futbol Project and the Jack Brewer Foundation Worldwide who are visiting Malawi.
The President described the sponsorship, first of its kind in Malawi, as part of an initiative by her government to compliment government’s available initiatives to develop sports from bottom to the top.
To ensure that her dream on sports is sustained, she announced plans to intensify the promotion of Sports and Physical Education in schools and communities by posting trained teachers to schools and put cultural importance on sport as part of career development.
JB said her government will mobilize volunteers to help organize and run the sporting activities, and also manage the training of the community football and netball teams as a way of promoting a sporting culture in the country.
“It is on this note that I am pleased to announce the introduction of the Joyce Banda Foundation Inter-constituency Football and Netball Leagues. This is part of my personal initiative to contribute to the development of sports in this country,” said Dr. Banda, whose announcement was received by a loud applause, dancing and ululation from the jam packed Sanjika Banquet Hall.
President Banda told the invited guests that the leagues will be part of a National Sports Policy put in place in 2007 hence she has the responsibility of ensuring that sports is developed in all the corners of the country.
The President appealed to the corporate world to join her government in developing sports as part of their social responsibility.
Said Dr. Banda: “My Government realizes that the responsibility to improve sports in Malawi rests upon all of us: government, the private sector, faith community, individual sponsors, supporters and players themselves just to mention a few.”
“We all have a rightful role to play. As stakeholders, how we play our role will determine the standard of sports that we shall have in this country. Let me therefore take this opportunity to appeal to the private sector and some individuals to join hands with government to develop sports in this country.
“There are many talents out there that we need to nurture and develop. For the private sector, this is one of the social corporate responsibilities that can be focused on. Let us plough back into the community that not only sustains us but also makes us what we are,” appealed the president.
“Sports is instrumental in development of good health for all regardless of age. Sports provide our youth with an opportunity for a brighter future. Sports help to keep our youth away from engaging in conducts and behaviors that can negatively affect their life and future such as sexual immorality, drug abuse just to mention some,” Dr. Banda observed.
President Banda announced that through the One World One Futbol project, the Joyce Banda Foundation International would distribute a total of 11, 000 balls in all the country’s 193 constituencies.
“I am informed that, under this initiative, the Joyce Banda Foundation in partnership with the One World Futbol and the Jack Brewer Foundation Worldwide will distribute a total of 11,000 balls throughout the country targeting schools and community teams.
“I am further informed that the balls that will be distributed are indestructible in nature such that they do not deflate even when punctured. Added to this, the balls do not need a pump to inflate. These features make them more suited for Malawi owing to the conditions of most football pitches in our schools and communities,” concluded the Malawi leader.
JBF International executive director Edith Akridge thanked the One World Futbol and the Jack Brewer Foundation Worldwide for their assistance.
Some of the MPs present included Vice President of Peoples Party, Sidik Mia, Ministers Moses Kumkuyu, Enock Chihana, Eunice Kazembe, Rachel Zulu, Sosten Gwengwe and Legislators Etta Banda, Yusuf Matumula, Henry Shaba and Felix Njawala.—(Additional reporting by Taonga Botolo, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :