Over 200 young athletes have completed a two weeks residential holiday camp training under the Malawi Academy of Sports (MAS) program which was conducted at the Blantyre Youth Center (BYC) from 15th to 25th August 2023.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the residential holiday camp training Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) board member and Chairperson of Sports Development Committee Mrs. Helen Tasosa Mpinganjira explained that the MAS residential holiday camp training is aimed at encouraging students to continue doing sport while on school holiday.
‘’We try to encourage them to do sport while on holiday because we do not want them to stay idle. As Council we believe that school and sport should move together there is no need to separate the two because they complement each other. Even during the event we had officials from Malawi School Sports Association which indicates that sport and school go together. Sports Council’s vision is to produce many athletes through this program who will represent Malawi at the highest level,’’ explained Tasosa Mpinganjira.
On his part Ethics Tembo who is a basketball coach under the MAS program recommended Sports Council for coming up with the MAS initiative.
‘’The training has been fantastic for the past two weeks, as coaches we are very proud because the students turn up was overwhelming, we expected to have 50 athletes in each sporting code but we ended up having more. The plan is to make sure that we keep training these students up until they are over 18 years,’’ explained Tembo.
During the two weeks holiday camp training young athletes took part in different sporting codes which include Lawn tennis, football, netball and basketball. Trainings started from 8:00 am up to 16:00pm.
Under the MAS program, which is a brain child of the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) school going athletes are encourage to take part in different sporting codes while school is in progress as well as during holidays.
During school days’ trainings are conducted in the afternoon from 16:00 hours while during holidays trainings are conducted from 9:00 hours in the morning to 16:00 hours in the afternoon
In Blantyre these young athletes meet at the Blantyre Youth Center (BYC), while in Lilongwe they gather at Kamuzu Institute for Sport (KIS) and in Mzuzu they assemble at Mzuzu prison ground and Mzuzu stadium.
The aim of the MAS project is to create an environment where young athletes should be helped to focus on education as well as sports, at the same time to recognize, develop and promote talent and encourage competition among the young athletes.
Athletes as young as 6 up to 18 years old are drilled basic technics in Lawn Tennis, Netball, Basketball, Football, Table tennis and Athletics.