The multi-million kwacha Hockey pitch installed at the Kamuzu Upper Stadium was officially inaugurated on Sunday at the Kamuzu Upper Stadium in Blantyre.
Meanwhile, the Africa Hockey Federation President Seif Ahmed who was the guest of honour has challenged Hockey Association of Malawi to run the facility as business if they are to sustain it.
Officially inaugurating the 300 million kwacha Artificial Turf was Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama in the company of the Africa Hockey Federation President Seif Ahmed and representatives of various sports authorities.
Soon after inducting the pitch, Msungama expressed gratitude to the Africa Hockey Federation for implementing the project and assured the hockey fraternity that government will complete the remaining work.
“As government we are extremely excited for this excellent hockey stadium because as a nation we have not had any of this kind.
We are aware that come next year the country will host an international youth tournament.
As such my ministry will lobby for funds towards the construction of the remaining structures such as spectator stands, dressing rooms and other facilities”, Msungama said.
Africa Hockey Federation President Seif Ahmed described the inauguration of the 300 million kwacha Artificial Hockey turf as a dream come true.
While congratulating HAM for achieving this feat, the AHF President advised the Association to take good care of the pitch and run it as business for its sustainability.
“It was our dream at African Hockey Federation and Hockey Association of Malawi and I am glad that the dream has now come to pass.
“The turf must therefore be properly maintained by playing on it with the right shoes, play only Hockey on it, not hold weddings on it, clean it, clean it, clean it!
Every two hours one of the clubs , or school or university has to train on it at a fee for collection by stadium managed which will in turn be used for payment of utility bills and future savings”, he said.
In the meantime, HAM Secretary General Lameck Fiwa says the Association in consultation with the Malawi National Council of Sports has resolved to set up a stadium management team to help run the facilities as business.
“This stadium management will be responsible for collection of clubs usage fee as well as maintenance of the ground.
The management will be given guidelines as provided for by the turf experts who installed the artificial surface detailing how they can maintain and clean it”, Fiwa said.
Initially, the inauguration of the 300 million kwacha Hockey Artificial turf was scheduled to take place before sports activities were suspended in March due to the threat of Covid-19.
The country will next year host next Africa cup of club Champions in November of December 2021.