The Zambia Amateur Athletic Association (ZAAA) President Elias Mpondela says he is in support with government’s initiative to make sport as one of the ways to eliminate poverty in Zambia.
He said this following a statement from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts Permanent Secretary Chileshe Kangwa that sport can be used to eradicate poverty in Zambia.
In an interview with Lusaka Star, Mr. Mpondela said that the initiative will help athletes earn money and encourage them to work hard.
“Some athletes excel because of participating in world championships so the government is trying to come up with a rewarding system so that those that win tournaments can have money to start something for themselves,” Mr. Mpondela said.
He urged the public to invest in sports so that the performance of the athletes improves to enable them to win competitions.
“We are constantly working towards improving the performance of our athletes and by following what the permanent secretary said, the government will definitely put in more money for them to perform better,” he added.
Mr. Mpondela emphasized that there is a need to enforce policies that will assist the federations in making sure that individuals flourish in sports.
However, Sports Analyst Daniel Kaoma said that poverty cannot be eradicated through sports alone instantly, but rather through providing more employment for the youths with different skills that can be used in different sectors of the economy.
“The youths are the future of this country as it is known that graduating students and other young people practice different economic activities that turn the wheels of Zambia as per their specialization,” Mr. Kaoma said.
He also said that despite having boundless talent in sports and other activities , there is need for better infrastructure as well in rural areas in order to find more talented youths easier.
“Previously the Youth, Sport and Arts Minister Elvis Nkandu said that they want to turn sports into powerhouses and so the only way he can do that is by embarking on massive infrastructure development,” he said.
Mr. Kaoma encouraged the ministry to build at least one multi-purpose center like the Olympic Youth Development Center (OYDC) in all the ten provinces of the country to assist the improvement of sports in the country.