Mangochi. Malawi Aquatic Union (MAU) has asked government and the corporate world to invest heavily in swimming sport, saying Malawi now has a cream of swimmers that could carry the country’s flag to unprecedented heights.
MAU Vice President, Monica Chang’anamuno made the call on Sunday at the end of swimming training held at Sun n Sand in Mangochi where close to 20 swimmers had camped for two weeks to build a strong pool of swimmers for future competitions.
Chang’anamuno said the sport was struggling and that it was high time government through the line ministry considered investing in the sport with the same interest she (government) had in football and netball.
We need a lot of support from government and the corporate world to support the national team that we have just built. We have a cream of swimmers, young and energetic and all we need is to invest in them, said Chang’anamuno.
She added: As a nation we don’t have public swimming pools that we can use for such trainings and we alternatively resort to private pools which are too expensive to hire for use for longer periods as we just had here. So, as MAU, we would appreciate if we had our own pools to use.
According to the MAU Vice President, swimming requires continuous training all year round as such there was need for the country to have heated pools so as not to break the training cycle due to weather variations.
However, Malawi National Council of Sports, Executive Secretary, George Jana who was the guest of honour at the ceremony said government was aware of the challenges the sport was facing and that plans were underway to uplift the sport.
We have had proposals made to government for it to consider and we plan to construct one swimming pool at Kamuzu Institute for Sports to host the Regional Five Under 20 Youth Games in 2022 and since the pool will have to be tested before the games, it will have to be ready earlier, said Jana.
After that, we are hoping that we will be constructing another pool in Blantyre and we haven’t yet considered Mzuzu, but we hope to have one there as well and more pools across the country in years to come, Jana added.
Jana said he was impressed with the crop of swimmers MAU had mobilised this time around unlike in the past when the Union struggled to build a team.
Previously, when we had made an appeal that only Malawians should represent Malawi in the sport MAU used to have problems but now we have a team of Malawian passport holders forming a formidable pool of swimmers for the country to draw from to participate in various competitions, said Jana.
The camp comprised 19 male and female swimmers aged 12 and above drawn from clubs across the country among them Kamuzu Academy and African Bible College (ABC) and Stingrays of Lilongwe.
According to MAU, the camp was held with funds from the world swimming body, Federation Internationale de Nation (FINA), through Olympic Support programme aimed at supporting swimming federations that are struggling to produce reputable swimmers.
Malawi is scheduled to participate in swimming competitions such as Africa Senior Championship in Algeria in September; Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October; Regional Five Games in Botswana in December; FINA World Championship in Hangzhou, China and CANA (African Swimming Competition) Zone Four in Namibia in February 2019.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA