By Harold Kapindu
Residents of Chembe village and surrounding areas stand a chance of being sponsored to participate in the 4th edition of Cape Maclear Triathlon which kicks off this Saturday, 15th September at Cape Maclear Bay.
According to one of Cape Maclear Triathlon 2018 organizers Marcel Blankenstein, Cape Maclear Lodges have committed to sponsor any applicant wishing to participate.
"Over and above the Lodges support, there is also a program in place for financially able participants to sponsor any applicant wishing to participate. CMT2018’s aim is very clear, there is no excuse not to participate.
"CMT2018 will teach you how to swim, we’ll find a sponsor and we’ll get you a bike. All you need is to be a resident of Chembe village and have a strong willingness to participate, we’ll do the rest," Blankenstein revealed.
Although CMT2018 raises money only from participation fees which is K15,000 for either as an individual or as a team, it is not an excuse not to participate.
Furthermore, realizing the fact that many lakeshore Malawians don’t know how to swim, Cape Maclear Triathlon 2018 attempted to deal with this reality by creating a competitive and fun event that encourages Chembe inhabitants to participate.
"Official lakeshore drowning statistics are vague, an informal discussion with any lakeshore resident will tell you that it is a very real reality. ," Blankenstein added.
This year, Rob Assad from Cape Maclear SCUBA provided free swimming lessons for any Chembe inhabitant who wanted to learn how to swim, either for personal reasons, or to participate in CMT2018.
While the triathlon is the glue of CMT2018, there are many post event activities for the extra energetic CMT2018 participants as well as fans, visitors and supporters.
These activities include a volleyball tournament, dugout canoe race, island swim from Thumbi Island, a family BBQ at one of the Cape Maclear private cottages, a cocktail soiree, a dance party and a mountain bike trail through the entire village and surrounding area.
Cape Maclear Triathlon is the brainchild of Peter Thompson (Annie’s Lodge) and is managed under the auspices of Mizu Foundation.
'The Mizu foundation', meaning ‘roots’ in Chichewa, is a unique non-profit organisation that mainly supports community organisations situated in Cape Maclear.