National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has reiterated its commitment to refurbish Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and University of Malawi (Unima) basketball courts this year to leave a lasting legacy in the sports infrastructure development in the country.
Speaking during the launch of the fourth season of Mo626 College Basketball tournament in Blantyre at the weekend, NBM e-Money Services Manager Chirwa said this is part of the additions in the sponsorship of the tournament which increased from K63 million last year to K150 million per year.
“As National Bank, we are also undertaking to refurbish basketball courts in Malawi, so for the first year we are going to refurbish Luanar and Unima basketball courts, we are also going to improve the facilities in anticipation that this will grow the sportsmanship in the basketball arena.”
“We have increased the prizes for the teams that will win in this tournament, the number one team will walk away with K5 million, while the runner-up gets K3 million and the second runner-up K2 million. This is an increase from our previous prizes which ranged from K2.5 million to K750 thousand,” said Chirwa.
In his remarks, President of the Basketball Association of Malawi (BASMAL) Chief Masabani Jere said the association is very happy that they can count on the National Bank of Malawi year in, year out.
“We are looking forward to making sure that basketball becomes a household sport, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education under the Malawi Secondary Schools Programme we want to make sure that the grassroots are being included in basketball.”
“Malawi sponsorships are very hard to come by and in this case, we are making sure that we utilize the K450 million over the next three years to the fullest by making sure basketball is well exposed, the infrastructure development program is on track and to introduce the sport to young players,” said Jere.
MUST men’s team player Paul Koloko said he is excited and ready for the tournament.
“We are happy that National Bank has brought season four back into play,” said Koloko.
In the opening games MUST ladies beat KUHeS Ladies 21-5, while MUBAS men beat MUST men 55-44.
NBM started sponsoring college basketball in 2017 as a tool to foster inter-university student interaction.