New sports centre opens to produce medal winners


SPORTS minister Moses Mawere has called for financial transparency in the management of resources at the National Centre of Excellence for Sport  (Olympic Youth Development Centre) in Lusaka. Speaking at the launch of the NCES at OYDC yesterday,  Mawere said the funding that will go towards the running of the centre was taxpayers money  and therefore the Zambia National Olympic Committee of Zambia  (ZNOC) and OYDC must effectively manage the resources. “Government will endeavour to provide the much needed resources to the centre. It is for this reason that the funds allocated to this project must be used for the intended purposes. Let us all work in a transparent manner as we disburse these funds. We should always bear in mind that the funds are coming from Zambians through tax and hence we will be doing justice if the resources are used in the most prudent manner,” he said. He advised the national coordinating committee and OYDC to find other means of raising resources to support the programmes at the centre. He also appealed to the corporate world to assist the centre meet the objective of producing world-class athletes. “This centre does not just belong to Government or NOC, but to every Zambian and requires the support of individuals and corporate entities. It takes enormous resources to develop athletes that can compete at international events such as the Olympic Games and return with medals,” he said. Mawere was confident that the establishment of the Centre of Excellence will greatly enhance the performance of Zambian athletes at international tournaments. He said the results of the centre should be visible at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan. “The ministry is committed to establishing a high performance programme which includes promoting talent identification and development, training of high performance athletes, capacity building for coaches and administrations, and the provision of athletes selected to the high performance centre,” he said. ZNOC president Mirriam Moyo assured the minister that the expenditure of resources will be done in the most prudent manner. “We are cognizant of the fact that the funding being provided towards this centre belongs to Zambians. As such we would like to assure Government and other cooperating partners that NOC and OYDC will be financially transparent in the disbursement of funds,” she said. She said the NOCZ vision was to win medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games and was working towards achieving it. “We remain optimistic that with the establishment of the Centre of Excellence and continued support to our athletes, Zambia’s performance at the international stage will improve,” she said. The minister donated assorted sporting items to the centre. Among the first crop of athletes to benefit from the Centre of Excellence ahead of the 2020 Olympics include 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic 100 meters gold medalist Sydney Siame, 400 metres African female champion Kabange Mupopo  and amateur female boxer Juliana Mwila.