Malawi Olympic Committee (Moc) says the newly constructed hostel funded by the Japanese government is going to ease camping problems that sports associations and their athletes were facing during preparations of major events.
President of the National Olympic Committee (Noc) Oscar Kanjala made the remarks on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 when the Japanese Ambassador Shuichiro Nishioka handed over a 40-bed hostel constructed by the Noc at the Olympafrica Centre in Kawale II Lilongwe with funding from the Japanese government.
The Japanese government, through its local mission provided a grant of USD $97, 252 (About MK43 million) for construction of the hostel, which has all camping facilities including a kitchen, lounge, shower rooms, study room, matron’s room and rest-rooms.
“Our associations have been facing problems accommodating athletes ahead of major competitions and this hostel is going to ease those problems. Apart from the excellent facilities that the hostel has, the building is located closer to facilities of the Olympafrica Centre and Kamuzu Institute of Sports, which will make it easy for athletes to concentrate on their training without outside interference,” said Kanjala.
Sports and Culture Minister Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia, who was guest of honour during the handover ceremony commended the Japanese government for funding the project, which she said was a sign of the good bilateral relations existing between Malawi and Japan.
“This is not the first time that the Japanese government has assisted Malawi in the development of sports. Apart from funding several local projects, the government of Japan has been sending coaches and volunteers to train our local athletes especially Judo and Kendo athletes and work in other fields,” said Chiumia.
She asked Moc and athletes using the hostel to take good care of the facility so that it also benefits the future generation of athletes.
In his handover speech, Shuichiro said the hostel was funded under the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grass-root Projects, for which Malawi was the first beneficially.
“This facility has come at the right time when some athletes will be preparing for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games scheduled for August and September in Brazil. It is also our hope that athletes will be motivated to work hard in their respective sporting codes and that more Malawian athletes will compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he said.
The Japanese Ambassador disclosed that his government was implementing the ‘Sports for Tomorrow’ programme, expected to impact on more than one million future athletes in over 100 countries worldwide by the year 2020.