Olympic ‘gems’ win Kagem sponsorship

The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Zambia has announced an exclusive sponsorship of the Zambian team for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games by the world’s single largest producing emerald mine – Kagem Mining Limited.

And government has said now that funding was available; there was no excuse for poor performance at the Games.

Deputy sports minister Ronald Chitolela said while he knew that there were only a few months before the Games he  urged the athletes to commit to training seriously.

Speaking when outfits for Zambia’s athletes were unveiled on Saturday at a glittering event, Chitotela said the nation expected to receive good results.

Chitotela sincerely thanked Kagem Mining for the support that they had given towards the entire Zambian team for the 2016 Rio Games and said it was now up to the athletes and officials to ensure they prepared adequately for the Games.

Speaking at the same occasion NOC secretary general Hazel Kennedy said his committee welcomed the move by Kagem to spons0r the Zambian team for this year’s games.

“We welcome the move by Kagem to sponsor the team for this year’s games and we see this as a perfect feat, drawing on the international nature of both the Olympics and Kagem as a company,

“We look forward to showcasing Zambia’s sportsmanship in Rio and are keen to see Zambian sports grow further,” said Hazel Kennedy, Secretary General of the Zambian National Olympic Committee.

The sponsorship covered the design and procurement of this year’s team kit to be worn at the games as well as other expenses relating to the Games such as travel and accommodation costs.

And Kagem chairman Mr William Nyirenda said“, Since 2009, Kagem has been working with its parent company Gemfields to put Zambian emeralds on the world stage,

“This time we are very excited about supporting another set of the nation’s precious gems for the world to see. In this particular instance, it’s the talent and sportsmanship of Zambia’s athletes,” he said

Mr Nyirenda referred to the collaboration the NOC and Kagem as a privilege which epitomised the partnership between the people of Zambia and multi-national companies.

Zambia hoped to be represented in swimming, judo, athletics and boxing disciplines at the Games to be held in Brazil in August and for which qualifying events were underway.

Zambia made its Olympic debut at the 1968 games in Mexico City and had since won two medals.

The uniforms include t-shirts, running vests, tracksuits, blazers, shorts, caps, bags, wallets and towels, all of which incorporated the colours of the flag and a gemstone theme,” said Chitotela.