A team from England with Rodrick Longwe Malawi coordinator standing on left side at the back

By Rabson Woodwell

Former president of the Republic of South Africa Nelson Mandera described sport as a tool that can be used to develop a community, in this regard, sport, is also a great vehicle of conveying messages about the Good News.

Fulfilling this philosophy, Sport Malawi, a sport organisation ran by lecturers and students from University of Gloucestershire in UK, is implementing its project in three aspects such as; Sport Coaching, Outreach, and Education programs in the country.

The project is in its fourth and final year this year and the first team of the group is in the country who are doing an outreach programme in which they are training church leaders on how they can pass the messages of salvation to people through sport.

One of the senior lecturers and outreach programme leader Mark Wagstaff said for the past three years the programme has been so influential and the participation levels were so impressive.

Wagstaff also said that they believe that preaching to the young ones through sport can help to develop very good character in the youth. He said sport is a game that demands good discipline and the word of God will always help to develop that.

“We therefore, hope that this being the final year, we will have the best training and hopefully, the trainees will indeed deliver in the communities. Development is a gradual change and we don’t expect to have the strong Malawi national Team tomorrow through our programmes but after some years the impact will start to show.

“However, we are so happy to have accomplished our goal in Malawi and our hope is that the faith community will start to use sport as a tool (since sport is so attractive) to send messages about Jesus Christ and save lives.” He said.

Since the inception of this project in Malawi, Rodrick Longwe who is also chairperson of Central Region Youth Football Committee (CRYFC) has been the coordinator of the initiative and he said he is so thankful for the investments that Sport Malawi has invested in Malawi for the past three years.

“These people are so committed and Malawi needs more of them so that we can indeed develop our sport but at the same time also developing other very important aspects of life within sport. I personally like their planning, and segmentation of the programmes, they are really professionals.” Longwe said.

Representative of all the participants of the outreach programmes who is also National Director of Scripture Union of Malawi Amon Chanika, sounded so excited about the positive change that the project has brought.

Chanika said the knowledge and skills gotten from this training will help to change the attitudes of people.

He also said that as an organisation that works closely with the youths and faith based community, they believe that through sport they can also instill unity among the people and since children are the future of Malawi, giving them the word of salvation today will assure us that we will have faithful leaders in future.

“It is our expectation that through the word of God our youths will grow with good discipline and that is going to facilitate their good living but also at the same time benefiting the whole community they live in”, he said.