SPORTS Ministry is formulating a policy to take sport to the community

Chishimba Kambwili

SPORTS Minister Chishimba Kambwili has said his ministry is formulating a policy to take sport to the community starting next year.
Kambwili was speaking on a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Radio 2 phone-in programme in Lusaka yesterday.
In reaction to a question from a caller who wanted to know how far the government has gone with the opening of the planned Sports University in Luanshya, Kambwili said the government was actively pursuing the issue of the Sports University and that he would soon travel to China
to meet the proprietors of Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), who currently own the recreation sports club where the planned university will be situated.
He explained that the government has been having meetings with the Chinese owned firm to expedite the process of transferring the property into the hands of the government.
“The first meeting we had with LCM, they told us it is beyond them and that the decision would have to be made by the company’s board of directors in China. I am planning to go to China to go and discuss with the LCM board on the need for them to release the facility to the Zambian government,” Kambwili said.
Kabwili said when he returned from Cuba early this year, his ministry outlined a number of projects and that one of the main areas of interest was taking sport to the community.
“When we came back from Cuba, we outlined a number of things. One of the things we are currently working on is taking sport to the people,” Kambwili said.
Kambwili early this year, together with officials from his Ministry who included Permanent Secretary, Agnes Musunga, former Sports Council of Zambia SCZ) board chairperson, Chifumu Banda and chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Sports, Levy Ngoma and others, travelled to Cuba on a visit that culminated into the signing of a Sport Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.
He said he was inspired to discover that in Cuba, who have produced world-class coaches and athletes and are spread around the world, they use basic equipment to develop sport in the local communities.
“Right now we are working on a policy that will help start that programme of taking sport to the community. In Cuba we learnt that they use basic equipment to develop sport.”
On Zambia’s chances of winning the bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Kambwili said he has a strong conviction that Zambia will win the bid because the country has many advantages compared with some of the countries that are also proposing to host the continental soccer showpiece.
He said Zambia already had in place two stadia in the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, the Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola and the planned Livingstone and Mongu facilities which he said should be ready before 2019.
Other countries bidding for the 2019 AFCON are Guinea, Gabon, Kenya and DR Congo.
On the Mongu Stadium, he explained that the contractor was already on site and doing soil samples before commencement of construction and that soon works should also start on the Livingstone one.
“I have never started a crusade and failed. In terms of infrastructure, we are ahead. We have the first two sports facilities already in place; with the support of Arthur Davies in Kitwe, Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka and Konkola Stadium in Chililabombwe, we should be considered ahead of some of the other countries that are also bidding to host the tournament, so we stand a very good chance” the Minister said.
He reiterated that the Patriotic Front government had committed itself to constructing internationally acceptable stadium in all the 10 provinces in the country.
When asked about what his Ministry was doing to fund other sports disciplines apart from football, Kambwili said in an unprecedented development, his Ministry has managed to give equal attention to all sports disciplines and that he has taken it personally sometimes to
lobby for funds from companies on behalf of national associations.
He said the case in point is the on-going Africa Junior Swimming Championship which got underway in Lusaka yesterday, where he engaged the hotel industry to accommodate the foreign officials.


Times of Zambia