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THE Zambia National Service (ZNS) command has challenged coaches mentoring its sports clubs to be professional in talent identification to ensure that only promising athletes are recruited.

Speaking during the 2017 ZNS annual sports awards, Brigadier-General Lawrence Sampa said the service will not tolerate lack of serious commitment to competitive games.

Sampa represented ZNS Commandant, Lieutenant- General Nathan Mulenga.Sampa urged the coaching and technical staff managing clubs in the service to embark on vigorous talent identification programmes to recruit and strengthen teams in the service for the 2018 sports calendar.

He said the command remains committed to supporting and funding teams in the service to make them competitive.

Sampa congratulated the sportsmen and women who were honoured during the award ceremony held in Lusaka and urged those who were not recognised to be motivated to work hard during the 2018 sports calendar.

“As a service we are continuously raising our financial logistical and technical support to various sports disciplines in the country to turn our sports teams into major contributors of talent to various national teams to make our country competitive. “ZNS is partly doing this in cognizant of the serious national mandate given to us to help the country develop sports,” Sampa said. “The commandant remains steady fast and passionately committed to carrying out that mandate. The onus is therefore on the coaching staffs to be highly professional in talent identification.

The command expects that the service will see the raising of coaching techniques and provision of technical support during the horning process of our sports talent so that we bring out the finest in our players.”  More than 30 sportsmen and women were honoured in deferent sports disciplines such as volleyball, netball, basketball, karate, tug of war, soccer, golf, tennis, chess, squash and judo.

Green Eagles volleyball club was named club of the year with Coach Bwalya Henry walking away with the coach of the year award after guiding his team to defend the 2017 Midlands Volleyball Association league.

Athlete, Mutanya Mathews was named Sportsman of the year while Karateka Chemusi Phiri was named sports woman of the year.

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