ZAMBIA has accorded countries participating in the 10-day Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Under-20 Games that officially open in Lusaka tomorrow, a warm welcome.
Speaking in Lusaka during a colourful flag hoisting ceremony for participating countries at the Goma Lakes situated at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Road campus, Village Mayor, Stephen Simukanga guaranteed the athletes good hospitality and a safe stay at the Games Village.
He told the visiting teams that had their flags hoisted yesterday; Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe that they should feel free to move around the campus.
Botswana and Namibia had their flags hoisted, while that of Zambia was by Press time being raised.
Simukanga, who is also UNZA vice-chancellor, congratulated the athletes for making the final teams that would represent their various countries because the players proved to be the best among those that did not make it.
He encouraged athletes to put in their level best to prove that they were indeed the crème de la crème of their countries by reaping medals.
"You are welcome to Zambia and UNZA in particular. Feel free to move around the campus; I have no doubt that when you go back to your countries you will have a lot to talk about the University of Zambia campus. I encourage you to put in your best in the games and win medals," Simukanga said.
The Games Mayor said that sport was a powerful ingredient that united people regardless of their religion, colour or gender.
He added that it was interesting to see young people taking part in sport and advised the athletes to embrace it even after the Zone Six Games.
And during the ceremony that was characterised by various activities, visiting countries were treated to various Zambian traditional dances by the Zambia National Service (ZNS) Dance Troupe.
Botswana athletes and officials were made to completely forget about their Makilikili dance as they invaded the dance floor attempting to dance with the ZNS women dancers.
The Tswana women joined the dance troupe on one side, while the men followed suit on the other side to make the event even more entertaining and welcoming.
And Botswana's Chef de Mission Oskeditse Malesu said his country had not come to Zambia for tourism purposes, but to win medals for the country.
Malesu said his country would be represented in athletics, also for the visually-impaired, basketball, tennis, netball, judo and football.
Meanwhile, Namibian Chef de Mission, Roger Kambatuku said Namibia came into Zambia for two things; to compete seriously in the games and to win medals.
Kambatuku said the Namibian contingent had come to compete in athletics, also for the visually-impaired, basketball, tennis, netball, judo and football.
The flag hoisting ceremony for all participating countries would be done systematically with hosting nation, Zambia being the last in line tomorrow before the official opening tomorrow evening.