It does not get sweeter than this! Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) has announced the increase in the Under-14 football and netball sponsorship package from K3 million to K6 million.
YONECO Executive Director MacBain Mkandawire disclosed the news to the unsuspecting crowd at Police College Officer’s Mess ground on Sunday during the final of the inaugural 2017 YONECO Under-14 football and netball tournament.
Mkandawire said the increase in sponsorship will take effect from January 2018 and will incorporate the sports code of athletics. He said the country can do better at international level if athletes are groomed from the grassroots.
“I have arrived at this decision taking into consideration several factors. We need to widen the catchment area from the city in order to include the rural area. At the same time, I want this initiative to go even at national level.
“But that can only be achieved if the organizing committee, which include the Malawi Schools Sports Association [MASSA], could have a proper plan of activities,” he said.
Mkandawire added that the youth forms an integral part in society and there is need to sensitise them on the risks of indulging in unprotected sex.
“Abstain is the only way to protect oneself from sexually transmitted infections [STIs] and transmission of HIV. The introduction of this sports component was aimed at addressing such issues among the youth,” Mkandawire advised.
In her reaction, Zomba City Mayor Mellia Douglas applauded YONECO for the continued sponsorship. She said the youths need to take part in sports activities in order to showcase their talent.
“With the increase in sponsorship, YONECO has spurred me to come out big in next year’s Mayor’s Trophy competition. We need to give these young ones something to do so that they avoid from indulging in immoral behavior,” she said.
MASSA national treasurer Christopher Kabwazi called for proper coordination from all stakeholders in order to safeguard the sponsorship. He said much as the tournament went on well, there are some areas of improvements to be done.
“As MASSA, we need to put our house in order so that we correct the minor mistakes that were observed in the just ended tournament. All in all, we appreciate what YONECO has done,” said Kabwazi.
In the final matches, Police Primary School emerged champions in both boys and girls categories. In netball, they beat Mpotola Primary School by 20 baskets to 17 whereas in football, a lone goal from George Harare was enough to see his side beat Reticals FC 1-0 to clinch the trophy.