NATIONAL sports associations have welcomed plans by Government to hold a sports indaba this year to discuss the way forward for sports in the country.
This follows an announcement by Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili that Government planned to hold a meeting with all sports associations to discuss ways of identifying athletes with focus on the grassroots in all the 10 provinces.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation (ZABF) president Thomas Chileshe said the move was timely as it would spread the sport to all parts of the country.
Chileshe said currently boxing was only concentrated along the line of rail but that with such an initiative, more youths would develop interest in the sport.
He hailed Kambwili for giving a platform to sports associations to air their views on the development of grassroots sports.
“The biggest challenge that we are facing is that boxing is just concentrated along the line of rail and I think with the minister’s plan to meet us, we will come up with progressive mechanisms of developing,” he said.
Zambia Squash Association (ZSA) president Norena Chiteba welcomed the development, saying it would give Government an opportunity to appreciate the various challenges that associations in the country face.
Chiteba said if the meeting could culminate into proper mechanisms, it would boost the level of squash in the country which commands its presence in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Mazabuka.
“I think this development is welcome and since the minister is talking about 10 provinces, then obviously it will have a great impact on squash,” she said.
Badminton Zambia (BZ) general secretary, Kingsley Mulenga said the indaba would be a good platform for associations to directly furnish the Government with information about their plight.
Mulenga said with such interactions with all stakeholders in the sports fraternity, the challenges that were being faced by all associations would be abated.
“The indaba is a timely call and I would like to commend the minister for planning to take such a step. We hope to work together for the development of sports in the country,” he said.
And former Nkana squash club chairperson, Peter Sinkamba said the biggest challenge that was hampering the development of sports in the country was inadequate finances.
Sinkamba said there was enough talent in all provinces but that funding to associations was the challenge that should be prominent at the forthcoming indaba.