Malawi Olympic team commends London hosts

Malawi’s Charge D’ Affaires to Britain, James Ali, has commended University of Gloucestershire for hosting the Malawi Olympic team to prepare for the start of the games to he hosted by London next month.

Swimmer and athletes from the Malawi team touched down in the UK on Monday night.

Speaking during the welcome ceremony for the Malawi team, Ali hailed the cordial relationship that exists between the University of Gloucestershire and Malawi in the field of sports.

“I would like to thank the University for accommodating our team. We are encouraging them to fly the Malawi flag the highest,” said Ali.

Ambene Simukonda 400 m, Joyce Tafatatha swimming- 50 m freestyle Mike Tebulo marathon and Charlton Nyirenda swimming- 50m freestyle. Photo coutesy of Gloucestershire Echo

He also urged other stakeholders in Gloucestershire and the UK at large to continue helping Malawi in various areas including sports and education.

Vice Chancellor for the University of Gloucestershire, Stephen Marston, said that his institution was excited to host the Malawi team’s training at its campus.

Marston said that hosting the Malawi team was a good way of building the already existing relationship between the University and the sporting fraternity in Malawi.

Also speaking at the event, Chairperson of the Malawi 2012 Project, Professor David James, revealed that the University is working in partnership with Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, Sandford Parks Lido and Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust to help the Malawi team during its preparations for the Olympic Games.

“We will ensure the team has the best possible experience in Gloucestershire, and preparation for the Olympic competition,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire   Echo newspaper reported that swimmers Joyce Tafatatha, 14, and Charlton Nyirenda, 23, tried out the 50 metre, heated pool at Sandford Parks Lido.

Both said it was “amazing” to be able to use it, as back home they train in a 25 metre unheated pool.

Nyirenda said: “I’m loving it so far. It’s my first time here so I’m very excited.”

The IT student said he “isn’t looking for as medal” in the games but hopes to beat the Malawi record for the 50 metre freestyle swim which has stood at 25.46 seconds since 2005.

The London 2012 Olympic Games kick off on 27 July 2012, and will feature 26 different sports breaking down into various disciplines and events.

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