Thousands of people, many travelling hundreds of kilometres and many hours away have made the trek to witness the finals of the CQC Mbaula Trophy Championship, C-Quest Capital’s inaugural soccer and netball tournament held in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Teams made up from the four traditional authority areas of Masula, Masumbankhunda, Kabudula and Khongoni competed across both sporting codes for the chance to the win the CQC Mbaula Trophy and receive a total of 1,350,000 Malawi Kwacha (USD 1,350) in prizes and seed money, to help them build further capacity and compete in other leagues.
Taking place from August to October, the tournament has been a rousing success bringing together rural communities in the spirit of fun and friendly competition. Tournament organisers from carbon project developers, C-Quest Capital conceived the unique competition as a way of building awareness of its clean cookstove project, and to provide an outlet for vulnerable young people to show off their athletic skills to a wider audience. Local musical talents The Nyemba Nyemba Boys (Symon and Kendall) also performed live further attracting patronage of the event.
“We wanted to create an opportunity to entertain and educate rural communities affected by drug and substance abuse, on climate change effects and how the communities can participate in climate change action through our cook stove program. We also wanted to unleash the hidden athletic talents that rural young people have. The trophy has been a fantastic event to give people a glimpse of what can happen when we work together to make things better.” said Yamikani Liyenda, CQC Stove Champion Manager
As part of trophy participation, local communities have also had sporting resources including soccer balls, netballs, and jerseys donated by CQC for local teams to continue competing and playing in other leagues beyond the trophy furthering local sports development. Tournament organisers also invited several sporting scouts to watch the games opening opportunities for local talent to be recognised and developed.
“Yamikani Liyenda, CQC Stove Champion Manager
Hope thrives when people know what’s possible, and our hope is that the trophy continues for many years to come
Feedback from the community has been universally positive. One village chief said the competition has “given the youth hope and diverted them away from drugs”, while others have praised the commerce and economic benefits that have been made possible by the coming together of so many.
Athletic talent scouts attending the trophy were also impressed with the talent on display with one netball scout impressed enough to offer one local team a pathway for players to train with the national side to further develop their skills.
“Onyx Msachiwa, CQC Malawi Country Manager
This tournament was made possible by the success of our Clean Cookstove project here in Malawi and we wanted to share the success with the wider community and is modelled on our approach to working closely with communities to build long term, mutually beneficial relationships built on trust. We can't wait for next year's tournament