Malawi: Over 100 People Dare the Maritime Fitness Challenge At Cape Maclear

"Exercises help beat non-communicable diseases."

Fitness pundits were joined by business gurus and other top personalities in the '20km Maj. Gen. Francis Kakhuta-Banda's Malawi Maritime Force (MMF) Cape Maclear Challenge.'

Over 120 participants took part in the event, which started off from Maritime Club at Monkey Bay to the cape on Saturday.

Major General Kakhuta Banda said: "This is not a competition, rather it is an event to kickstart serious engagement of people of all ages in Monkey Bay, and with our partners the HCC, in reaching out beyond our district, regional, and national borders as far as fitness and tourism is concerned.

"We aren't physical fit the same way. But we can undertake exercise to our capabilities, step by step, and yield healthier lives. Exercises help beat non-communicable diseases such as Blood Pressure, and diabetes, among others."

Kakhuta Banda added that he plans for this kind of event to take place every two months, or every half a year, and annually - with the recognition of the Ministry of Tourism so that participants can also come from beyond our borders.

"We and HCC want this to become a big, recognisable, and borderless activity where those fitness tourism pundits can come and share in the experience."

HCC's co-founder and the event co-cordinator, M'theto Lungu said: "I am impressed with the turnup, Our club will continue to come up with creative ways of engaging various partners and fitness stakeholders in their life changing initiatives.

"We therefore encourage participants to avoid littering the routes as some use bottled water and also energisers such as sweets and other snacks whose packaging can destroy the environment. We urge the people to consider water bags or Carmel bags, and dispose waste in right designated places."

Lungu said HCC is a gender sensitive initiative that strives to see both males and females participate.

"HCC aims to inspire everybody irrespective of their geography and membership to any fitness organisation. It's important to know that what you eat is what you are, and exercise plays a bigger role in our lives. Idol minds and bodies are at higher risk of disease and relative fatalities," further said Lungu.

'Healthier people'

The walk, which started at 7am with a warm-up, and proceeded to the cape, attracted a lot of women, and most encouraging a good number of people aged above 50, and notable business and political figures.

Chief Executive Officer for MASM, Sidney Chikoti, said he and his team were overwhelmed to be part and parcel of this great fitness and healthy living initiative.

"I want to encourage Maj. Gen. Kakhuta-Banda, the MMF and HCC to continue on this progressive part. On our part as MASM, we believe that healthier people bring development.

"Good health is our area of corporate interest. I also take opportunity to challenge my colleagues older than 50 to start to engage in fitness. Exercise has no age barrier," he said.

Member of Parliament for the area Bay, Ralph Jooma said the activity has opened his eyes and the challenge has compelled him to ask the Gen and co-organisers to consider an established fitness facility in the top tourism area.

"Monkey Bay is a tourism and holiday destination. The large number of participants today bear witness that after we exhaust with work and business to make a living and care for our families, we should take time to relax and mainly engage in meaningful exercise." he said.

The activity which lasted about three hours of walking, and later a reception at Fisheries which lasted into the night, was participated by soldiers and officers, Liwonde Fitness Club, members of HCC splinter groups such as Anonymous Hikers and Ells Fitness Club, Salima Fitness Club, and various business individuals and locals.

Covid19 measures were observed.

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