By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
MINISTER of Sport Emmanuel Mulenga has advised the 67 athletes representing Zambia at the African Games in Morocco to focus on winning medals.
Speaking during the send-off ceremony at Olympic Youth Development Centre yesterday, Mulenga said Government had invested K5 million in the preparation and participation of athletes, and expected a good performance.
The Zambian team consisting of 67 athletes and 21 techical staff were scheduled to leave for Morocco in the early hours of today.
The African Games will run from August 19 to 31 and Zambia has registered in only nine disciplines out of the 24.
Mulenga commended the federations and all partners involved in ensuring the team was well prepared.
“I appeal to all athletes participating in the games to be fully focused on winning medals. You are privileged to be part of Team Zambia and it is incumbent upon you all to show that you were selected on merit from many athletes that equally deserved to participate in the games,” Mulenga said.
He called on the corporate world to partner with government in implementing long-term development programmes for athletes.
“This programme will ensure international sporting success and it is the success at the African Games that should propel us to achieve much more at bigger events, including the Olympic Games,” he said.
Chess Federation of Zambia president Mukubulo Chilufya was confident the chess team will return home with medals.
“We have a good squad and hopeful of medals,” Chilufya said.
Zambia will participate in badminton, athletics, chess, boxing, soccer, handball, swimming, judo and equestrian.