BY GODFREY DUBE –
THE Zambia Volleyball Association (ZAVA) plans to take volleyball to primary schools in a bid to grow the sport in the country.
ZAVA General Secretary Cheelo Mwanachingwala said the extending of the game to primary schools was falling under a pilot project that will see all schools, including tertiary, get a vibrant programme.
He said the project would be called ‘We Believe’.
Mwanachingwala said the association has already secured funds forthe ‘we Believe’ project which is aimed at catching players at a tender age and develop them both on andoff the volleyball court.
“The schools project falls under the ‘We Believe’ project’. What we want to target is todevelop the young athlete both on and off the court. Theirperformance both school and sport will be monitored to help us bring up better citizens,” Mwanachingwalasaid.
He said the association’s goals were to build athletes for the 2024Olympics to be held in Paris, France and coming up with good teams that would reap medals at other international competitions.
“To achieve this, we will run various programmes including shadow parenting where the young athletewill get adopted by a sports guardian who mayeven go as far as taking care of their educational and socialneeds.
“From this pool, we will be able to draw up a strong under-17 and under-13 athletes group of players who shall be put on long-term Olympicdevelopment programmes,” he said.
Mwanachingwala said the association has also put an up a volleyballleague for the people living with disabilities in the country.
“This will help us achieve inclusiveness. We will be running a league for peopleliving with disabilities who we know are also talented in volleyball. These will play sitting volleyball and hopefully put up a league,” he said.
He said all the volleyball leagues in the country are scheduled to open in June.
He added that the ZAVA wants to activate leagues in all regions by making sure each province get to run a runleague which will feedinto thenational structure.
“In so doing, we hope to increase the sportspresence in the country and also increase the pool from which we canselect players for national duty,” Mwanachingwala said.