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Draught Sports Committee Urged to Support Female Players

By Elia Chibwe

President for Association of draught in Malawi, John Ngwenya calls ladies in schools to participate in draught tournaments

Female International Master (FIM), Susan Kachepa, who won the top position in the African Draught Championship league in Zambia last year, has called on the Regional Draught Committee to support female players.

She believes this support is essential to improve skills and build interest in the sport among women.

In an interview on Tuesday, Kachepa criticized the lack of initiatives for female players, noting that district and regional levels primarily organize male tournaments.

“We rely only on the national tournament organized by the Association of Draught in Malawi (ADMA). If we play that tournament in one year, we wait for another tournament the next year.

“How can one play the game without training? We see males being sponsored by other stakeholders, but female players are left out. Even our committee bodies do not sponsor us to have tournaments at grassroots and regional levels,” Kachepa said.

She emphasized that regular training is crucial for improving skills and uplifting talent in draught sports. Kachepa also urged the draught committees to avoid gender discrimination when organizing tournaments.

“It’s my plea to draught committees that they should avoid discriminating against us when organizing tournaments. We usually see them sponsoring men to compete in regional tournaments every month,” she said.

However, Regional Committee Secretary Abuba Iman said that their tournaments are open to all, regardless of gender.

Female International Master, susan Kachepa urges draught committee to include ladies in tournaments

“Since 2023, these tournaments have been open to everyone, regardless of skill or gender. District, regional and national qualifiers in the tournament include both males and females.

“We expect girls to participate in training groups like Lilongwe Giants and A, B, C groups. Their involvement in boys’ competitions can help improve their performance,” Iman said.

ADMA President, John Ngwenya acknowledged Kachepa’s concerns but pointed to a lack of willingness among women as a significant factor deterring tournament organizers and sponsors from including women at the grassroots level.

“To ensure both men and women participate in the sport, we are organizing draught tournaments in schools, pending government funding.

“By next month, we will visit schools to identify young ladies who can be active in the sport. We have submitted our budget, and once funds are received; we will start these programs,” Ngwenya said.

Draught is an emerging sport gaining popularity in Malawi, with the government committed to supporting all sports disciplines through funding.

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