THE National Sports Council of Zambia has given the Zambia Swimming Union KR50,000 towards the hosting of the Zone 3 and 4 swimming championships to be held in Lusaka.
NSCZ board member Haroon Ghumra revealed donation at media briefing yesterday.
Ghumra said the donation was in line with government’s policy of helping develop sports in the country.
“I must mention though that the Zambia Swimming Union still has a shortfall of KR25,000 to meet it’s target. We are hopeful that the money we have donated will help in hosting a successful swimming gala,” Ghumra said.
He said 13 countries had confirmed participation with nine already sending their entries adding that the gala will see 300 swimmers take part in the four day event starting on April 25.
“This will be the largest swimming competition ever to be hosted in the country and we are confident it will be a successful one,” he said.
Ghumra further said the NSCZ was in contact with cabinet to help the union ease transport problems during the period of the gala.
Meanwhile team manager Tinky Naidu revealed that ZSU had assembled 39 swimmers who would represent the country at the gala.
Naidu said the swimmers majority who are school going children were training on weekends only to allow them attend classes during the week.
She said the swimmers were grouped into two, some in Lusaka and others on the Copperbelt.
“The coaches are doing great job training the swimmers and everyone is working hard to ensure that the country reaps medals at the gala,” Naidu said.
And team captain Mmbalo Sililo expressed confidence that the swimmers had prepared enough to win the tournament.
He said apart from targeting winning medals, Zambia was also eyeing to defend the spirit award which the country had won for the past six years.
The spirit award is given to the team that shows great determination and team work throughout the tournament.
The gala will also be used as a qualifiers for the Olympics where ZSU president David Thompson said he expected at least seven swimmers to qualify.