The Board of Directors, Management of Sport In Action(SIA)and the young people wish to congratulate the President, His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema on his resounding victory in the just ended general elections. We also congratulate Her Honor the Vice President, Mutale Nalumango.
Our continued desire is to see to it that the sport-for-development agenda becomes one of the top priorities of our leaders’ developmental agenda for Zambia.
As an organization that has been implementing sport-for-development for the last 20 years, we are waiting anxiously to hear what developmental milestones the Minister for the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, has in store once cabinet is announced to the nation.
Our focus as a sport-for-development organization has always been on policy-not politics nor personality, hence we look forward to working with the appointed Minister under the new Government which we expect to enhance policy formulation and implementation including the revision of the National Sports Act of 1975.
The need to revisit the Act is long-overdue, as there is urgent need to include issues of how sport, recreation and physical education can be developed further to provide the much needed environment for children and young people to exercise their right to play and recreation at community and school levels in our country.
We also call upon the Government, through the incoming Sports Minister, to work at strengthening the National Sports Council of Zambia by building its capacity in various aspects such as human capital, finances and facilities.
Being the mother body of sport-for-development in Zambia, we expect the Sports Council to be a shining example of how a sports federation should govern and be governed. This therefore calls for reduced tension amongst administrators but most important, the enhancement of strategic working relations with the Paralympics Committee and the National Olympic Committee of Zambia – These three cannot afford to work in isolation.
This should be stretched to sports academies, where SIA is calling for strengthened relationships between the Sports Council and sports academies dotted around the country. Most sports disciplines such as football, netball and volleyball are benefiting a lot from grassroot programs and in order to produce results that produce glory to the country, formalising working relationships is the way to go.
We were excited to hear President Hichilema in his address to the nation, emphasising on the need to unite the country and it is our hope that working with sports federations, will afford us the opportunity to reduce tension the country is faced with and increase unity through mainstreaming sport-for-development in key ministries.
Further, we appeal to the new government to ensure that the ministries of sport, local government, health and education closely work together as they are inter-related and in so doing, the creation of a strong foundation for physical education in communities, schools and work setups can be achieved.
The Minister of Sport yet to take up the Ministerial mantle has a huge task to ensure that chief executive officers or general secretaries are remunerated and capacity built in order for federations to establish offices of their own.
We say so because most of these federations do not have offices they can call their own, and this affects development because as far as we know, sports federations and NGOs have been helping the government to use the power of sport to maintain unity, which is part of the UPND Government’s resolve going forward.
In conclusion, we pledge to continue working with the new government, especially in the area of policy formulation, capacity building and achieving sport-for-development for all Zambians and we will work with the Hichilema-Nalumango administration, along with the new composition of the National Assembly to achieve this and many more milestones we envision.
Once again, we congratulate you Your Excellency the President and Her Honor the Vice-President. May God bless and prosper you.