By SANDRA MWILA –
THE Zambia Amateur Swimming Union (ZASU) has described 2013 as a success and is targeting at doubling its efforts next season to take the sport to greater heights.
ZASU president David Thompson said he was impressed with the tremendous improvement swimming has made this year but that there was need for the association to double its efforts in the coming year.
Thompson in an interview described the year ending as a success because the association managed to implement most of the programmes on its calendar with improvement of swimming facilities among the major successes.
He said ZASU did not only concentrate on the swimming facilities in Lusaka but also ensured that the Copperbelt had competitive pools.
Thompson said the Copperbelt did not have good running standard pool before 2013 and was happy that Simba School in Kitwe had its swimming pool upgraded through support from the Confederation of Aquatic Nations Association (CANA).
“Through the support from CANA, we have also upgraded the swimming pool in Mufulira so that it can also be used for competitions. With the number of swimming pools increasing and others being upgrading the association is positive that in 2014 swimming in the country will be on another page,” he said.
The ZASU chief also said the association had learnt a lot this year through interactions with associations during the swimming galas on how best the sport can be improved.
“In 2014 we intend to introduce swimming in schools throughout the country and train Physical Education teachers in schools on how to train swimmers,” he said.
Thompson said Zambia needed to emulate countries such as South Africa that have swimming pools in almost all the schools and every child is taught how to swim at a tender age because swimming is not only for competition but is a life skill.
“South Africa has 10,000 swimmers that swim competitively as compared to Zambia that has 3,000 that take part in competitions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Thompson said the association would embark on a training programme for coaches that will see ZASU recruiting and retaining the old coaches by ensuring they met international required standards as a way of developing the sport.