By Trust Mtegha
Lilongwe City Sports Development Office responsible for promotion of physical education and sport in primary and secondary schools organised a volleyball workshop for primary school teachers with an aim to develop the sport’s awareness at grassroots level.
Held at Livimbo Primary School last week, the workshop was facilitated by coach James Mangani, who is also Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) technical director and assisted by coach Elton Ng’ombe.
Lilongwe City Sports Development Officer, Grace Thera Chirambo expressed satisfaction and recommended the participants for their enthusiasm throughout the training.
“I am very satisfied because everybody was very passionate about the sport of volleyball and I am sure their enthusiasm will be passed on to their students so that this sport develops to a level where Malawi can compete competitively at international stage.
“The workshop went on well as planned especially that all invited participants honoured their invitation to attend for the good of the sport. Seeing the excitement from the teachers was something we are proud of,” she said.
However she acknowledged and bemoaned lack of enough resources in their drive to reach out to as many schools as possible.
“We have six zones under our jurisdiction but we have only reached three zones. Not all schools have been reached. It’s our wish out to reach to all but the resources do not allow us,” she said.
The workshop targeted 20 primary school teachers from various schools within Kafulu, Chimutu and Chinsapo zones.
On his part, the facilitator Mangani applauded Lilongwe City Sports Development Office for organising the workshop and also the participants for their enthusiasm.
“The workshop was good in the sense that it was well organised and with all participants called were available. The participants responded well to the training but the only hiccup was time being too short for them to grasp the whole content.
“You know volleyball is wide and we couldn’t cover all the needed areas. However, we need to make follow ups in order to continue shaping them,” he said.
The participants were awarded certificates and given a volleyball and a net to help them on the mission of introducing volleyball in their respective schools.
The guest of honour at the closing ceremony was Regional Sports Development Officer for the Centre, Isaac Phiri, who also recommended the organisers and bemoaned the lack of grassroots volleyball activities in the country.
“The problem is mainly because have few volleyball clubs in the country and they do not have grassroots activities which can support them for sustainability. Volleyball can develop well if many schools, especially at primary level, can participate,” he said.
He was happy because the workshop had many women participants and tipped that this will also help to develop athletes for Region 5 Games.
“I am happy to see many women here. In Malawi we have problem with women’s participation in sports. So I do believe, this will be a great motivation and inspiration to the female pupils when they see female teachers training them and encouraging to take part in volleyball.
“Also these will help the national association to come up with an under 20 athletes for Region 5 Games,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Central Region Volleyball League, administrative assistant, George Dick Mbewe was all thankful for the initiative by Lilongwe City Sports Development Office.
“This will help us to have good players as they are targeting grassroots,” he said.
Participant Towera Nkhota from Kafulu Primary School said she feels so good to have acquired new skills in volleyball, saying all knew in as far as sports is concerned was football, netball and track and field events.
“We just heard of volleyball in passing and we thought it’s a tough and difficult game to play. We promise to deliver and impart the knowledge learnt to our pupils,” she said.
She asked the organisers and facilitators for further refresher courses so that they can take the game to a higher level.
In Malawi, grassroots volleyball is mainly initiated at secondary school level through Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) though with very little financial support at K1 million for the whole nation.
Currently, the 2018/19 PIS is yet to be played but the regiona bodies received the money some five months ago.