THE National Olympics Committee (NOC) intends to upgrade the immaculate Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka into a regional centre of excellence.
NOC president Miriam Moyo said in an interview from Kitwe yesterday that NOC was waiting for response from the International Olympics Committee (IOC), who are the owners of the centre on the matter.
Moyo said once the OYDC was transformed from a youth development centre to a centre of excellence, Zambia would stand to benefit more as the centre would now bring experts to train local coaches and athletes in specialised skills.
“We are waiting for the IOC to approve the upgrading programme of the OYDC to a centre of excellence.
“It has actually delayed because by entering 2013, we have also gone into the next quadrennial and I’m sure something will come up soon,” she said.
Moyo said since OYDC was opened more than two years ago, it had been a learning curve for NOC and that time had now come to begin upgrading the multi-sport facility into more than just a development centre.
She said OYDC had excellent sporting facilities and that once the construction of hostels which would take up 52 students was completed, the place could take up bigger responsibilities and become a regional training centre for various sports disciplines.
Moyo said the advantage of OYDC turning into a centre of excellence was that international experts would be sent into the country to carry out various programmes like training coaches, umpires, referees and administrators.
She said the region would also be a major beneficiary as the various courses that would be provided would see the neighbouring countries send their officials into Zambia instead of going overseas in search of such training.
Moyo said South Africa had one good centre of excellence from which Zambia had benefited by sending Rachael Nachula, who after coming out of that area, won Zambia a gold medal from the Olympic Youth Games.