14 December 2012

Zambia: Bravo To The Nation For Hosting The Youth Games


THE past week has been a busy week as Zambia is hosting the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games in Lusaka and commendation needs to go to the organisers for ensuring that this event is staged.

While there have been a few minor hiccups here and there, Zambia needs to be praised for staging such a wonderful event which in my view could have even hosted the All Africa Games as the facilities are much better than what other countries that hosted the Games before offered.

A big thumbs up should be given to the Zambians who have filled every sporting hall and pitch during the Games to support our athletes taking part in the competition.

The fans have made the atmosphere electrifying as that is the support athletes need.

People from all walks of life have managed to trek between the Olympic Youth Development Centre to Mulungushi International Conference Centre, National Sports Development Centre, Sunset and Nkoloma stadiums just to have a glimpse of what is on offer.

The overall organisation has been fantastic and I am sure there must be a few or no complaints from the visitors in as far as Zambia's organisation of the Zonal Games is concerned.

If so, then I am sure it was a learning step as hosting such a competition for the first time has its own ups and downs.

Our athletes have been so far impressive while others have been, for lack of a better term, pathetic. The judokas and boxers have so far given us gold medals along with Paralympian Agness Simfukwe who equally claimed a gold.

The country has also managed silver and bronze medals from the track-and-field events, comprising athletics, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin, with swimming contributing two bronze medals.

The women's soccer team are in the hunt for a gold medal or might settle for a silver depending on how the final goes, but at least the team that kicked off with a 1-0 defeat to South Africa made amends in the semi-finals by winning to be assured of either a gold or silver medal.

Oswald Mutapa jr's Under-17 boys' soccer team are in the semi-finals and today take on Lesotho for a place in the finals where the team would equally be assured of either a gold or silver.

Defeat would leave the team battling for a bronze medal in the third-place play-offs.

The Games are still on and I am sure sports fans and our visitors will continue to enjoy the wonderful Games that Zambia is hosting till the closing ceremony as medals are still up for grabs.

While hosting the Games will soon be a past story, the challenge will be on how well we use the facilities and also safeguard them for the betterment of our athletes and development of sports.

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