ZAMBIAN athletes preparing for the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games have started re-grouping in Lusaka for the final phase of training ahead of the games slated for December 4 to 17.
Team Zambia manager John Zimba said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that athletes from athletics, basketball, judo, netball and the women football teams had already reported for camp.
Zimba said the athletes had been accommodated at Sambalayas and Sofie Lodges in Lusaka while other teams were yet to re-group.
The boys' football team, tennis and swimming teams were excused because some of their players were writing examinations.
"Yes, the teams have started going into camp and we are camping them at some lodges within Lusaka. Some teams are yet to re-group due to various reasons but we have given the football team, tennis and swimming permission to join us later as some of their players are writing their final examinations," Zimba said.
And a basketball player, Bongani Zulu said the team was aiming at winning the tournament and getting a gold medal because the players had the mental and physical strength to achieve their feat.
Zulu said most of the players in the team were playing competitive basketball as they played in the Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) league.
He said the players had the experience, adding that apart from him, two other team members were part of the squad that participated in the Zone Six Games in Swaziland in 2010 where the team minted a bronze medal.
Basketball team coach Connell Kandala said he was looking forward to seeing Patson Siame be part of the team.
He said the coming in of Siame, who is at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in the United States of America, would help the team be on the better side.
Netball coach Charles Zulu said the team would work hard claim the top prize despite some players not reporting for camp.
He said if the senior team managed to win a bronze medal at the All Africa Games in Maputo last year, there was a possibility the young team would get a silver or gold medal.
Team captain Agnes Bwalya said the team was gearing up for the championship and that the players were ready to take up any challenge.
And Felix Malunga reports that the Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation (ZABF) has declared the local pugilists ready to rock the SCSA Zone Six Under-20 Games set for Lusaka next month.
ZABF president, Thomas Chileshe said the boxers' ring craftiness had improved tremendously as evidenced by their determination and accuracy during the weekend's international tournament in Tanzania.
Chileshe said in an interview in Dar-es-Salaam yesterday that the juniors had proved that they were no longer fighters but boxers with their impressive way of scoring.
He said the boxers were now ripe to fight for medals at the SCSA Zone Six Games and promised to assemble the best pugilists for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The ZABF chief paid tribute to the Government for sending he boxers for an international tourname
nt in Tanzania, saying it had helped gauge the Under-20's preparedness for the zonal sport festival.
"We're thankful to the Government for the support. It was a good motivation to the team. The boxers' spirit is now high and they have the courage to represent Zambia," Chileshe said.
The boxers are expected back today from Dar-es-Salaam on a Kenya Airways flight.