All set for 2nd edition of Malawi Sport Awards gala

Minister of Sports, Youth, Labour and Manpower Development Grace Chiumia is expected to be joined by several foreign dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps as well as local high profile guests for the second red carpet edition of the Malawi Sport Awards at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Friday, February 22.

Mereka: Sports Council Administrave Manager

Malawi National Council of Sports initiated this award ceremony last year aimed at recognizing deserving athletes, individuals and organisations that are outstanding in their contributions to the development of sport in the country.

Women footballer Tabitha Chawinga, woman boxer Alisha Bashir and netballer Joyce Mvula are the three nominees for the Best Sportswoman of the Year while those for Best Sportsman of the Year are marathon expert Kephas Nchelenje, chess champion Chiletso Chipanga and footballer Yamikani Chester.

Tabitha is amongst the three for her excellent foreign country exploits in the China women football league where she has won several accolades; Mvula also for her excellence in the English netball league and Bashir for winning the first Commonwealth Games boxing belt in her category.

Nchelenje was considered for his consistency in long running distance in which he came 5th at the World Cross Country race in Algeria and for winning the revised Blantyre Marathon; Chester for winning the TNM Super League Best Player of the Year that won him the recognition for a loan deal with a US team while Chipanga is the 2018 African Amateurs champion, came 6th at the World Amateurs and won the National Championship in December as well being best rated player.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Sports Council Administrative Manager Henry Mereka said they have received confirmation from CEOs from several fellow Region 5 affiliates (grouping of sports councils in Southern Africa), top dignitaries from various local stakeholders, foreign diplomats to the function they expect to live up to its billing as a red carpet event.

“We are prepared to make this event so colorful that the foreign dignitaries can appreciate something of high standard from Malawi,” Mereka said.

“This is an event that was initiated to recognize outstanding performance from our athletes, individuals and organisations in order to encourage them to do better all the time in the development of sport in Malawi.

“This award process has spurred many athletes to up their game in order to be part of the red carpet as well as the financial reward that goes with it. We want to make the sport an attractive industry — that it is beyond just sport; it is serious business.”

He said the selection process was entrusted into three independent committees set up by Sports Council. The first process involved member associations to make their own nominations which were all channeled to the first selection committee, that of sports media gurus, which underwent a vigorous process of screening and adding nominees ready for the second phase.

“The second phase was the adjudication committee which scrutinized the nominations from the media committee and came up with three nominations in each category which was finally passed on to the selection committee to choose the best in each category.

“This second phase has finalized their work and are set to make the announcements of the winners on Friday.

“The function, which will be televised live by Mibawa TV, will start at 5:30pm with a red carpet walk into the main hall where guests be treated to a cocktail before the main award presentation scheduled to start at 7pm.

“There will also be a live music performance by Patience Namadingo, traditional dances and many more,” Mereka said.


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