SPORTS Minister Chishimba Kambwili has said Government will revise its approach to sports sponsorship and will now focus more on youths and taking sports to the community.
Speaking when he officiated at the Sport-In-Action (SIA) Sports Development awards in Lusaka, the Minister said that in the new National Sports Policy, to be launched next month, Government will focus on taking sport down to the grassroots and prop up children.
Kambwili said the youth were the key to success of any sport at a high level and that was why Government was targeting at catching talent as early as possible and make sure that communities are highly active in sport.
“As Government, we want to increase children’s participation in physical activities and sport. So in our new policy which we shall launch in January, 2014, emphasis will be on community sport which we shall call ‘Komboni Sport’.
We shall put pitches in the community and build showers and other necessary basic facilities. The money for these activities is already in the 2014 budget. We want to nature talent at an early age. We are going to take sport to the kids,” he said.
He added that Government wanted to ensure a positive lifestyle for the children and that it preferred that its investment in sport worked to benefit the youth fully.
This statement hints at a major shift in sports investment by Government which has been spending huge sums of money on the national teams at the expense youth resulting in few young talents coming onto the scenes.
Kambwili said that part of the reasons youths got themselves in bad vices, like alcohol abuse, was because of the few sports activities to engage in adding that increasing sports activities at community level will increase youth participation and thereby protect the youths.
SIA director Frankson Mushindu praised Government for considering the plight of the youth especially at community level as it was one area that his organization has been concentrating on.
Mushindu said community and youth sport was the foundation for a successful national team and that there was need to have trained staff helping out at these low levels of football.