The Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC), in conjunction with Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Affected by HIV and Aids (Manerela), on Sunday launched three trophies in Balaka worth K1.5 million.
Football took the lion’s share after receiving K800 000 (about $20 000) whereas netball got K400 000 (about $1 000) and athletics was allocated K300 000 (about $750).
MOC got the funding from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and partnered with Churches United against HIV and Aids (Cuaha).
Speaking at Balaka Stadium during the launch, MOC executive member Henry Sakala said they decided to work with Manerela to ensure that the youth are reached with HIV and Aids messages through sports.
“We would like to use sports to spread HIV and Aids messages. We chose Balaka because it is a busy place, positioned at the centre of business and, as such, the youth here are prone to contract the virus,” he said.
“Apart from sensitising them to the dangers of the virus, we would like to use these trophies to unearth hidden talent,” added Sakala.
Manerela project manager Allie Mwachande commended MOC for the sponsorship, saying the trophies will keep the youth in the district busy.
“You might be aware that HIV prevalence rate in the district is at 16 percent, higher than the 10 percent national prevalence rate. We would like people here, especially the youth, to get HIV and Aids messages during this competition,” he said.
During the launch, Super Rangers beat Chilobwe FC 2-0.
Meanwhile, the competitions in football and netball are underway whereas athletics will be conducted later.
In football, where 42 teams have joined, winners will get K150 000 (about $375) and runners-up will receive K100 000 (about $2 500) whereas third and fourth-placed teams will cart home K60 000 (about $150) and K40 000 (about $100) respectively.