Vice-President Saulos Chilima says there is need to conduct some soul-searching over Malawi’s continued poor showing at Commonwealth Games.
Speaking when he received the symbolic Queen’s Baton yesterday at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre ahead of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the Vice-President said Malawi has been participating in the Games for a long time, but the performance has not been encouraging.
He said: “Most African countries used to perform poorly at these Games, but are now doing well and are able to win medals from the games.
“It is now time for us, particularly our technical officials, to analyse and identify where we have been getting it wrong.
“Let us make ourselves and the people we represent proud by winning medals at such games.”
Chilima said the arrival of the Queen’s Baton in Malawi is a reminder that the Games are drawing closer.
Said the Vice-President: “It is, therefore, time for us to enhance our preparations for the Games.
“Let us be serious and improve the way we do things so that we too start winning medals.”
“Serious planning and preparations within the remaining period can make a big difference in our performance.”
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama said the arrival of the baton has given Malawian athletes hope and they will intensify preparations for the Games scheduled to run from July 28 to August 8 2022.
Commonwealth Games Association of Malawi president Jappie Mhango, who is also Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) president, said the baton will be on awareness display at various places until this Friday before it is dispatched to Zambia.
He said: “The Baton is a symbol of hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth nations.
“We are delighted to host the baton and we hope Malawians will embrace it as it criss-crosses the country.”
Mhango thanked the Vice-President for gracing the occassion, saying it spoke volumes about government’s commitment towards the development of sports.
From the airport, the baton was taken to Blantyre ity Council Civic Centre where it was handed over to Mayor Wild Ndipo.
This morning, it will be taken to Blantyre Mission and later the Old Town Hall.
Tomorrow, the baton will be on display on its way to Mulanje via Robert Mugabe Highway with whistle-stops at Chisitu, Chitakale and Mulanje Boma.
From Mulanje, it will be taken back to Blantyre via Thyolo with whistle-stops at Luchenza and Bvumbwe Trading Centre before its departure for Zambia on Friday.
Malawi will take part at the Games in netball, boxing, judo and athletics.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham, United Kingdom from July 28 to August 8 2022.
As a tradition before the Games, the Queen’s Baton is relayed from Buckingham Palace to the host city through all the 72 Commonwealth member countries, which include Malawi.
The baton’s welcoming ceremony was spiced up by traditional dances and symbolic games in netball, boxing and judo.
Netball legend Mary Waya also gave a motivational story on how the sport gave her the platform to scale lofty heights.