However, this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s competition, which will run for three weeks, will only have runners in 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres distances because other sports disciplines such as tricycle race will require more resources from the same funding, according to Malawi Paralympics president Juma Mkandawire.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have targeted athletics because it is less involving than any other disability sports. We have started at district level and we hope to reach the national finals by the end of February,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mkandawire said the event will involve Chiradzulu, Balaka, Machinga, Blantyre, Zomba, Salima, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Mzimba districts; and Mzuzu City. Each district will send four athletesÃ¢â‚¬â€two males and two femalesÃ¢â‚¬â€to the regional finals.
In the Chiradzulu event, James Tchale and Themba Chiumia qualified for all the three distances in the male category whereas Eleanor Thomasi and Bridget Chibalo did it in the female section.
The four athletes are partially blind students at Montfort School for the Blind.
Their sports teachers Joyce Malikebu and Dick Chitimbe said they are proud with the achievements of the four and hoped that they will also do well at regional and national finals.
As we went to press, Balaka and Machinga districts were having their games at Ntaja Community Centre ground. Salima and Nkhotakota will have theirs today at Salima Secondary School whereas Lilongwe and Kasungu districts will meet at Chilanga School for the Blind in Kasungu on Sunday.
Mzimba and Mzuzu athletes will battle it out at Katoto Secondary School on Monday. Montfort School for the Blind will host athletes from Zomba and Blantyre on Wednesday.