Regional Annual Sports Awards put on hold due to Coronavirus

The Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA), which was scheduled for 23 May in Eswatini in which Malawian athletes were expected to participate, has been put on provisional standby pending assessment of the prevailing circumstances on Coronavirus pandemic.

Moneyi Chingaipe
AUSC Region 5 CEO, Stanley Mutoya

But the proposed Region 5 Marathon, scheduled for 16 May in South Africa has been indefinitely postponed.

Also put on ice are events such as the first Chefs de Mission meeting for the 2020 Region 5 Games, Desk Officers meeting, Women in Sport Committee meeting, Sport for People with Disabilities meeting, Secretariat meeting and Executive Committee meetings which had been scheduled for the period between March 22 and May 7.

A statement from African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Council of Ministers — Troika — takes cognizance that sport has been amongst the hardest hit industries in all affected countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was declared as a epidemic by the World Health Organisation.

All countries globally have duly cancelled, postponed or suspended all scheduled sporting events and activities to minimise the spread of the virus and flatten the infection curve.

Meanwhile, the AUSC’s Region 5 Troika, the Management Board of the Council of Ministers of Sport in the region, is convening an emergency risk assessment virtual meeting to discuss the devastating effects of COVID 19 on sport in the region.

In the statement, AUSC Region 5 CEO, Stanley Mutoya is quoted as saying the Troika meeting will zoom in specifically on the impact of the global pandemic on the Region 5 programmes and most particularly the 2020 Region 5 Youth Games scheduled for December 4-13, 2020.

“The Troika will assess the risk exposure of the Region, the inherent impact and channel a response strategy in order to ensure business continuity in the wake of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by this pandemic.

“The AUSC Region 5 has an existing risk management policy, and charter which will be used to assess the impact of the inherent impact of the pandemic on business continuity.

“All this is to mitigate and minimise impact that relates to financial loss, health and safety of sportsmen and sportswomen including spectators, communities and members of the public, programmes uptake by Member Countries, brand reputation and legal and compliance impact in view of guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and various governments of the Member Countries”, Mutoya said.

The AUSC Region 5, however, assures the entire sporting community in the Region to remain calm, respect the instructions and guidelines from governments and be patient under the circumstances.

Meanwhile, Malawi National Council of Sports have closed office and are working at home while its facility, Blantyre Youth Centre has been closed from the public.

At the southern African regional Red Carpet sports gala for the year 2018, athlete Moneyi Chingaipe was voted as best Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year.

Hosted in Windhoek, Namibia on May 25, 2019, Malawi was represented by Moneyi; Anisha Bashir (first female to win the Commonwealth lightweight boxing that took place in 2018); Christina  Mkwanda Munji (Malawi U-20 netball) as Coach of the Year; chess player Blessings Kamanga as best Junior Male Sportsperson and Malawi Under-20 netball as Sports Team of the Year.

Only Moneyi came back with the coveted award but Bashir was nominated alongside favourites, athletes Caster Simenya of South Africa, Lerato Sechele Lesotho and Zimbabwean martial artist Wilfred Mashaya as 2018 Sportswoman as well as Sportsperson of the Year awards.

Malawi will also be represented at this year’s RASA event having identified candidates through the 2019 Malawi Sport Awards held on February 14 at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe that had international female footballer Tabitha Chawinga going home with two awards — Sportswoman of the Year and Best Overall Sports Personality.

Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year went to Mirriam Kachingwe; Junior Male Sportsperson of the Year went to Atupele Somba; Draughts was National Team of the Year while that of the Best Sportsman went to Noel Lifa.

Bernadetta Kwiimbira won the Umpire of theYear award; professional golf mentor Dingaan Chirwa was Best Coach; while Golf Union of Malawi to the Sports Association of the Year accolade.

 

Best Sportsman with Disability went to Davison Junior; Best Sportswoman withDisability was Taonere Banda and Best Executed Sports Programme went to Cricket Academy

Lilongwe Urban was Sports District of the Year, The Times Group retained the Best Media House award while Malawi National Council of Sports Chairperson’s Award went to Griffin Kalua.

The Malawi Sport and RASA awards gala are meant to encourage sportspersons to aim higher in their respective disciplines and promote creativity, fair competition and innovation.

Under the AUSC, Africa is divided into five Regions and the Southern Africa falls in Region 5, whose members are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The AUSC Region 5 is the continent’s most functional Region and a trailblazer in implementing sports programmes and activities which include RASA; Region 5 Youth Games held every two years (2020 Games scheduled for Maseru, Lesotho from 3 to 14 December 2020) and Podium Performance Programme (PPP).

Also on top billing are Women Leadership Programme (WLP); Sport Education and Accreditation Systems (SEAS); Museum; Regional Marathon; Confederations Assistance Programme as well as Women in Sport and Sport for People with Disabilities programmes.

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