A new era has dawned on the sporting fraternity after President Joyce Banda unveiled the K100 million Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) Inter-constituency football and netball leagues.

JBF has partnered with One World Foottball Project and the Jack Brewer Foundation Worldwide to roll out the ambitious project which will see each constituency receiving two cartons of 10 balls each.

Banda said the initiative would go a long way in complementing government’s efforts in developing sports especially at grassroots level in the country.

“As you are aware, government through the Ministry of Sports on 17th March, 2007 adopted a National Sports Policy. The major component of the policy is development of sports at the grassroots targeting mainly the youth. In line with this programme, government , in partnership with the private sector and other organisations, is implementing a number of sporting initiatives,” she said.

Banda said government was aware of the important role that sports plays in socio-economic development of a country.

“Sports is instrumental in development of good health for all regardless of age. Sports provides our youth with an opportunity for a brighter future. Sports helps to keep our youth away from engaging in conducts and behaviours that can negatively affect their lives and future such as sexual immorality, drug abuse just to mention some,” she said.

She also thanked JBF’s partners One World Futbol Project and the Jack Brewer Foundation Worldwide for their role in the project.

One World Futbol Project founder Tim Jagnigen said they were excited to assist the country in the development of the sport.

He said the balls that would be distributed to the constituencies were indestructible in nature such that they do not deflate even when punctured; neither do they need a pump to inflate.

“The magic is not in the ball but people that would be using the balls,” he said.

The Jack Brewer Foundation founder Jack Brewer said they would continue supporting JBF after being in partnership for six years.

“We hope through this mechanism we can help Malawi in the socio-economic sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of JBF’s directors Edith Akridge said full details on how the tournaments would be run would be disclosed later in the week.

“But we would like to start as soon as possible,” she said.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu, Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) general secretary Helene Mpinganjira, Principal Secretary II Justin Saidi, Director of Sports Jameson Ndalama and JBF director Roy Kachale were among high profile sports figures who attended the function.

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