-The 2014 Confederation of School Sport Association of Southern Africa (COSSASA) games have kicked off in Lusaka today with four countries taking part in the tournament.
And the Zambian Government, which is play host of the games for the first time in ten years, has urged the COSSASA executive to encourage Southern African countries that have shunned the event to participate in future as a way of strengthening ties amongst countries in the region.
Participants from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and host country Zambia this morning marched in their national colours at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) to mark the official opening of the games whose theme is “celebrating Zambia’s 50 years of Independence through sport”.
Education Deputy Minister, David Mabumba, officially opened the tournament with a call on schools sport body to engage all the countries in Southern Africa who are absent at this year’s event so that they could be present at next years’ tournament.
Mr Mabumba noted Zambia has not been hosting the tournament due to lack of sports facilities which he said his government has now developed to an international standard.
He stressed his government’s commitment to improving sports facilities to ensure that sports development is fully supported in schools, adding that the government has revised the curriculum in order to ensure that it caters for physical education.
And COSSASA President, Johnson Madhuka, noted that hosting events of such a magnitude goes with costs and commended the Zambia government for hosting the tournament.
Mr Madhuka stated that it was important for children to be involved in sports as sports have the power to overcome all divisions and promote peace.
He added that the games were a good platform for children and teachers to interact with each other and develop their talents which they could apply in international competitions.
The four countries will compete in Netball, Basketball, Rugby, Tennis, volleyball and football and by broadcast time the game between Namibia versus Botswana under 17 soccer teams was underway.