Kambwili demands medals from Botswana-bound teams


SPORTS Minister Chishimba Kambwili has warned against complacency among the Zambian teams heading to Botswana for the 2014 All Africa Youth Games this month.
Kambwili said in an interview that Government would not accept any performance that was short of medals because Zambia had top-class athletes capable of competing amongst the continent’s best.
He said it was therefore important for various teams to step up their preparations in readiness for the youth games.
The minister said the country had ultra-modern sports infrastructure for all the teams to sharpen their skills and that there should be no excuse for failure.
“It’s time for Zambia to mint medals. Time for merely participating in such tournaments is long gone and we have to target at emerging top in terms of medals. I have always said that failure is not part of me and will not condone it.
“I want to remind the teams that they will be carrying the aspirations of many at these games and so they must be at their best to lift the country’s name higher. As Government, we will provide the necessary support that is required,” he said.
Kambwili also noted that the Botswana games were important for Zambia as they would set the tone for the athletes who have qualified for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games slated for Nanjing, China in August.
The minister implored sports bodies that had assembled teams for the Africa games to provide the necessary technical support required for the Zambian contingent to yield positive results.
He also demanded hard work and discipline from individual athletes selected to represent the country in Botswana if they were to deliver medals.
“We have to remain focused and prepare our athletes technically and psychologically. I am very confident that we have the talent to win medals. I have not failed and I want to leave a legacy of triumph and not failure,” he said.
The Games are run by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and they were introduced in 2010 as a platform to prepare African athletes for the Youth Olympic Games.
Morocco staged the inaugural event in 2010.
The 2014 edition will attract about 2,500 participants from 53 countries aged between 14 and 18 years old, who will compete in 20 disciplines in Gaborone from May 22 to 31.
Zambia will be represented by swimming, boxing, judo, karate, track and field, and badminton teams among others.