ZAAA laments lack of funding

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Zambia Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/1/13


THE Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) has bemoaned lack of funding from Government.
ZAAA president Elias Mpondela expressed his disappointment saying his association has been receiving negative funding response from the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ), a body mandated by the government to oversee the welfare of all sports associations in the country.
Mpondela is distressed that his association has been left to fend for itself despite calling for assistance from the national sports governing body.
We do not know what else, as an association, we must do to attract government funding for athletics. We thought that by pioneering creativity in fundraising through the Inter-Company Relay (ICR) fund-raising model, so far unmatched, we would attract responsiveness to our financial requests.
It is assumed that ZAAA has a lot of money and yet we have always advised that ICR raises far below the budgetary expectation for our national, regional and international commitments, and other engagements every year, he said.
Mpondela called for impartiality when it comes to funding saying other associations are favoured.
Every funding request we make attracts no funding response and yet what we see is more allocations being given to other associations. This is despite our requests being made at the beginning of the year, providing details of our financial requirements for regional and international engagements, he said.
The ZAAA chief said the association this year alone has several international obligations to fulfil among which are the World Youth Championships, World in Athletics Championships, African Junior Championships, Southern Region Senior championships and the Southern Region Youth championships among others.
Mpondela said his association has requested for funding for all international engagements but has not received any response.
What we are experiencing now should not be happening. We should be given some allocations, especially for international engagements. It appears like our commitment to raising of funds through the ICR is the case for ZAAA and yet this is done with great sacrifice and commitment from individuals to improve athletics in the country, he said.
ZAAA on Thursday sent a team of 16 athletes to Botswana for the Southern African Region Senior championships.
The team travelled by road.
Mpondela said this is the only opportunity the association has to prepare and qualify some athletes for the World Championships in Moscow scheduled to take place from August 10-18.
These championships are equivalent to the FIFA World Cup. We need representation as a country to these championships, he said.
Mpondela thanked the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) for providing a bus to enable the athletes to travel to Botswana.
He, however, expressed disappointment that both athletes and officials travelled for the regional championships without national uniforms.