Zambia’s Government has been praised for providing financial support for five young Para-athletes to attend an international competition.
The five youngsters – sprinters Celina Phiri, Monica Munga, Philemon Banda and Christopher Manda Mukosa and middle distance racer Lauti Moonga – were due to compete at the African Sports Council Regional Five Youth Games in neighbouring Zimbabwe next month.
It had seemed unlikely they would be able to attend due to difficulties in covering the costs, only for the Government to step in to cover transport and accommodation expenditure.
“NPC delayed to realise money for the team to go into camp but I am happy that the Government has come on board to support the team,” said the group’s coach Wisdom Moonga.
He added that the team had been shaping up well and should win multiple medals next month.
All five participants will next hone their preparations at a training camp from November 23 to December 2 at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, a venture following on from previous camps in the country organised by the International Paralympic Committee..
The Regional Five Youth Games will take place from December 4 to 14 in Bulawayo, with 1,200 under 20 athletes expected to attend from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, the Seychelles and Swaziland, as well as Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The event, which consists of both Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, offers a major opportunity for countries like Zambia, particular in the Paralympic events, where there are few other opportunities to succeed on the international stage.
At a senior level, the nation has competed in athletics competitions at four of the last five Summer Paralympic Games, but remains yet to win a medal.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]