From Kaluwe Hanzuki in Havana,Cuba
Kambwili extols Cuba for sports aid
Havana, April 4, 2013,ZANIS—Minister of Youth and Sport, Chishimba Kambwili has extolled Cuba for sponsoring Zambian students to train in that country in various fields including sports management.
Kambwili observed that Cuba was a true friend of Zambia as demonstrated by the provision of scholarships to train Zambians some of whom have since graduated in the field of science and sports management.
“We are paying gratitude to this government (Cuba) for scholarships given to our students. We hope that more could be done,” he said.
Kambwili said this yesterday when he visited the International Physical Education School where a number of Zambian students are studying sports management and specialising in football, basketball, weightlifting and other disciplines.
Nine Zambians have since graduated from this university since it was opened in 2001.
Kambwili assured the university management that the knowledge which Zambians have acquired from there was important in the development of sport in Zambia adding that government would want to send more students to study at the institution.
“I assure you that the Zambian students you are training here are a big resource to us. They will be useful to the country and to the ministry,” he said.
The minister said his ministry would soon be decentralizing its operations, a programme which will require more sports management professionals to be employed.
He said the National Sports Council of Zambia was also in need of professional sports administrators for it to run smoothly and effectively.
Kambwili further explained that his delegation had learnt a lot about sports management and development during the tour of Cuban sports institutions and facilities.
Kambwili is accompanied to Cuba by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sport Agnes Musunga, Chiefs Sports Development Officer Gibson Munyaule, Chairman of the National Sports Council of Zambia, Chifumu Banda and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Youth Affairs and Sport, Levy Ngoma.
He said some of the lessons learnt are the commitment and approach to sport, the use of simple facilities for physical education and the political will and patriotism towards sports development in the country.
And Kambwili has prodded students studying sports science and management and other sports related disciplines to return to Zambia after they graduate.
He said the students should show patriotism by returning to Zambia to develop sport especially now that government has shown seriousness about improving sport in the country.
He said the Patriotic Front government has since increased the annual budget for his ministry from about KR53 million (K53 billion) in 2011-2012 to over KR70 million (K70 billion) because of its commitment to improve sport.
The minister said this when he addressed sports management students studying at various universities in Cuba.
“We need your expertise which you have acquired here back in Zambia because the status quo of sports management should change,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, students studying sports management and development in Cuba have expressed concern over lack of basic equipment for them to use when doing practicals in various disciplines of sport while in Cuba.
One of the students, Nicholas Chipeta, whose sentiments were echoed by others, said government should consider buying them sports kits which they needed in order to perform to expectation.
He said the kits should have been part of the bursaries which they get from Ministry of Education in Zambia.
Earlier, representative of sports students in Cuba, John Kashiba, thanked the Zambian government for its good physical education policies.
Kashiba however appealed to the Zambian government to learn from Cuba’s approach to improve sport through establishing sports academies in each province.
The students also expressed concern over lack of jobs for them in Zambia when they graduate.
They said this prompts some of them to seek jobs in the Caribbean and other parts of the world which were ready to utilize their expertise.
But Kambwili said government was serious about sports development and that the students should not worry about jobs once they graduate.
There are currently 38 Zambian students studying sport science and management at various universities in Cuba.