By GRACE CHAILE –
THE Chinese Government yesterday donated assorted sports equipment to the Zambia Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) worth K23,593.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili, who received the equipment on behalf of the association, at his office in Lusaka yesterday, from Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yaxiao, said the donation will go a long way in enhancing the development of sports in the country.
Kambwili said the donation of the equipment was timely as it would not only lift the standards of table tennis in Zambia but will also empower the ZTTA to be able to reap medals at regional, continental and global competitions.
Among the donated items included eight playing tables, two robot machines and 2000 table balls.
The minister implored the ZTTA to make sure it maximised on the utilisation of the two Chinese coaches, currently attached to the association, and also the equipment by initiating a programme of establishing the game not only in urban areas but also the rural parts of the country.
Kambwili said Government, through his ministry, has embarked on an ambitious programme of identifying and harnessing talent in all competitive sporting disciplines.
He appealed to the Chinese Embassy to come on board and support Community Sport which is being implemented this year so that each constituency can at least have one table tennis table.
Kambwili commended the People’s Republic of China for the donation and hoped they continue with similar support to help Zambia promote sports in other parts of the country.
And Zhou said his office felt it wise to respond to the appeal by ZTTA to help them successfully host the Zone Six Table Tennis Championship.
He said it the warm cooperation that exists between the two countries for 50 years that had made it possible for Zambian coaches to train in China.
“With the continued progress in sports infrastructure in Zambia, I hope that soon, the country will be able to win medals in table tennis,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili also made a request to Zhou to assist Government in convincing Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), China Non-Ferrous Metals Company Limited CNMC over the release of the LCM Sports Complex in Luanshya.
Kambwili said his ministry has written so many times to LCM concerning the release of the complex so that a Sports University can be constructed, but regretted that no response had come forth in the past one and half years.
“The facility is in a deplorable state. We have been writing to LCM to allow us open up a Sports University but we have gotten no response. We don’t intend to get the facility but hope that we can work in partnership with them in opening the university. As a ministry, we are confident that through your office, LCM and us can cooperate,” he said.
Zhou promised Kambwili that he would look into the matter.