The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has said all athletes that it will be recruiting will be signing a commitment to ensure their continued active performance in their particular sporting disciplines.
Reports show that some athletes stop performing once they are employed by the MDF thereby defeating the whole purpose of employing them.
MDF Commander, General Vincent Nundwe, disclosed the initiative on Tuesday at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) where he was opening the Army Sports Festival for the year 2022. The festival, which invites competition in football, basketball, volleyball, netball, tag of war and other sporting disciplines among soldiers from all barracks, garrisons and units across the country, did not take place in the last three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These sporting activities help soldiers to be physically fit. But besides that, we also wish to identify athletes that can represent Malawi at higher levels through the national teams,” he said.
Commenting on athletes who stop participating actively once they are employed, Nundwe said from this year onwards, they will be signing a commitment and once they stop, they will be fired.
“They will be signing commitments as athletes to continue performing and if they don’t honour the commitment, they will be sent back. We will also be supporting them to make sure they develop in their sporting disciplines,” added General Nundwe.
President for the Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC), Jappie Mhango, said he hopes the MDF can contribute athletes to represent Malawi at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.
“I believe if we work hand in hand with the MDF, we can have good athletes that can give us good results. Several African countries that do well at the Olympics like Kenya and Uganda have athletes from their armies,” remarked Mhango.
The Army Sports Festival will be concluded on Friday and over 800 soldiers from across the country are competing.