21 June 2012

Southern Africa: Region Games Preparations Underway, Parley Told

GOVERNMENT has said preparations to host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Zone Six Games are underway as the Local Organising Committee (LOC) is working towards meeting its target of ensuring the successful hosting of the games.

Sports Deputy Minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu told Parliament on Tuesday night that 10 countries have so far confirmed participation for the Games which Zambia will host from December 4 to 17.

The deputy minister said this in response to PF Bangweulu Member of Parliament Chifita Matafwali, who wanted to know progress Government has made on the youth games.

Mubukwanu told the House that about K8 billion is needed to rehabilitate Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the games and that K3.5 billion would be required to rehabilitate other sports infrastructure to host the games.

He said the hostels at the University of Zambia (UNZA) would be rehabilitated in readiness to accommodate athletes and officials who would be taking part in the games.

"There is much progress being made. Invitation letters have already been sent to member countries and 10 countries have so far responded to our invitation on the games," he said.

Mubukwanu said Government will undertake rehabilitation of the swimming pool and other sports infrastructure at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC).

Government signed the protocol agreement to host the games in May 2011 with the Zone Six Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA).

Following the signed agreement, Mubukwanu told the House that Government is required to undertake extensive measures to facilitate for the smooth hosting of the games.

Mubukwanu explained that Government is also required to procure new support equipment and revise the sports rules and regulations.

He, however, said Zambia is facing a challenge in managing the sports infrastructure and that there was need for more support from various stakeholders.

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