By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
GOVERNMENT and some sports non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called for a two-day conference to review Zambia’s performance in sports in the last 10 years and also plan for the next decade.
Making the announcement of the meeting that will bring together more than 300 participants from Zambia and Europe, Sports Permanent Secretary Agnes Musunga said the conference had come at the time when the ministry wanted to take sports to the communities.
The gathering termed ‘National Sports Development Conference’ will be held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) on July 27 – 28 and would attract administrators, technical officials and the sport NGOs as well as Government.
“The conference will look at three critical areas and these are Community Sports, high performance based on turning the OYDC into a high performance centre and also the reintroduction of Physical Education into schools as an examinable subject,” she said.
Musunga said apart from the need to tap talent from a tender age, it was important that the majority in Zambia were kept busy in sports and avoid some of the devastating non-communicable diseases.
She said if the entire population was kept active in sport, the disease burden would be reduced and thereby save huge sums of money which Government spends on medicine every year.
Sports In Action (SIA) executive director, Frankson Muchindu said SIA had partnered with a Britain-based consortium of universities in helping the development of sport in Zambia and would be looking back at what had achieved over the years.
“10 years ago, we engaged Wallace Group, which is a team of seven universities across Europe offering sports courses and have been helpful over the years. So we shall be looking back at what has been done in the past and we shall also look forward and it is exciting that we shall now work closely with Government,” he said.
Muchindu hailed Government for the support over the years as well as the Wallace Group for remaining committed to the development of sport in the country.
University of St Andrews’ director of sport, Stephen Stewart said sport played an important role in curving out good and responsible citizenry and should be enhanced as much as possible.