The Kansanshi Sports Foundation has noted that over the years, sport has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Foundation Coordinator Reverend James Stephenson says unlike being used for leisure, sport has the potential to influence the global economy.
If sport is properly harnessed like mining, it can have a strong multiplier effect to grow sub-sectors like sports agencies, media and equipment suppliers creating indirect local employment opportunities,Rev. Stephenson.
Rev. Stephenson said large sporting events not only increase support to businesses like refreshment and curio vendors, but extends to the local tour operators, transporters, hotels and restaurants.
For youths in developing countries like Zambia, sport is more than just a means to stay active and healthy, it represents a possible route out of poverty through employment,Rev. Stephenson.
The Foundation Coordinator added that it is for this reason that First Quantum Minerals (FQM) through its Kansanshi Sports Foundation, is supporting a variety of sporting disciplines in communities around its catchment area.
The goal of FQM is to work with local youths through sustainable partnerships that explore ways of building fulfilling lives and careers of young people, with sport serving as a catalyst for a positive mindset shift,Rev. Stephenson.
Rev. Stephenson said FQM does not assume a leadership or donor role in its intervention but positions its as an active partner to the development of each member.
The mission of the foundation is to let people explore themselves and dig within to discover the depth of their potential greatness by being the best version of themselves,Rev. Stephenson.
He added that key attributes such as time, expertise, compassion, vision and love are vital to the team’s intervention approach, stating that it is these soft skills outside financial support that inspire, empower and transform young people’s lives.
This is illustrated in how several Kansanshi Cycling team members have been rewarded with jobs at First Quantum Minerals after consistently displaying great determination, dedication, honesty and outstanding work ethic for years with the cycling team, traits that speak to the mine’s values,Rev. Stephenson.