Dilapidated Community Grounds Retarding Appetite for Sports: The case of Manyowe School Ground

By  Kagwa OFC Dzonzi


Community grounds are the very back born of sports activities of every country and society. It is from these communal sporting centres that great sports Icons are groomed as well as natured into a limelight of productive gurus in sports everywhere in the world. However it is very pathetic that these very roots of sports are not taken care despite being used around the clock. While some might claim it is the responsibility of the government or the communities but what one should know is the grounds need a rescue from their dilapidated state. It does not take someone to come from the moon and tell us that the once admirable ground in Blantyre city ‘Manyowe School ground,’ is in deteriorated state. Coming from afar, one is able to appreciate its shuttered shape. The ground has pot holes and stones are spread all over denying the very beauty it used to be. To make the matters worse, more gullies have developed due to heavy rains diluting the very aim of sports and leisure. Particularly football as the main sporting activity which is done there. Previously youths who are now adults had no choice but play use the ground sporting activities as a usual business despite its bad shape which continue to worsen. Over a decade now the number of youths who are still interested in playing on such rough terrain is reducing, as most of them have stopped doing sporting activities in fear of incurring injuries. Some youths stopped playing on this ground after incurring injuries, which would have been prevented. As such most youths, who have nothing to do, are engaging themselves in immoral behaviours and on the long run putting their lives at risk. In this community, the youths are engaging themselves in excessive beer drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse since they have nothing to do in order to keep them busy. These immoral behaviours are hazardous to the youth’s health as they may be exposed to various diseases such as cancer and worst still they can contact sexually transmitted infections such as HIV AIDS which is spreading at a high rate among the youths. These things could be minimized if the ground is renovated; so that the youths can at least have something to do, apart from doing school, in order for them not to be engaged in the aforementioned bad behaviours.

Being the only ground in the community, one would expect it to be in good state since it does also benefit students of the schools surrounding this community and even those who are within the community. As it is a norm that schools do reserve some hours of a day within a week for sporting activities, it is important that the ground should be maintained so that it benefits the students as well. One would wonder where these students would be undertaking their sporting activities, bearing in mind that sporting activities are vital as they help the body to be physically fit, hence good health. Students with good health are able to concentrate well in class than those with bad health, as they are prone to different diseases due to their weaker bodies.

Of course, there was an attempt by the member of parliament of this area who tried to renovate the ground; however, it leaves a lot to be desired. The renovation did not work per people’s expectation since instead of covering the stones which are on the ground, what was done was  the opposite; the stones were exposed making it difficult for the youths to be playing with bare footed. With this renovation, the problem was that many stakeholders who would have brought tangible ideas were not incorporated to be part and parcel of the project.

There is need for collective effort among all the stakeholders in order for the ground to be renovated. I do believe that with the inclusion of all the stakeholders, tangible solutions can be generated. If the ground can be renovated, the lost glory of the Manyowe community can be brought back since more teams would be created to be competing in different leagues. In the past, the community had a team by the name Dhuwe Bullets which was playing in the premier division 1 of the southern region football association league (SRFA). This team did not only bring pride to the people of this community but also it brought entertainment. During weekends people would converge at this ground in order to watch and cheer their favourite teams. People of this community would by now be proud that some of the well known players in the elite league are coming from this area. This would help the youths to be economically independent since they would be getting at least some money. Consequently, the high unemployment rate which is prevailing among the youths would be reduced; thereby, complementing government’s effort of helping the youths to be economically independent. Its high time, lets with collective effort as Malawians reshape our community grounds for the betterment of present and future generations.



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