Athletes’ Poor Showing Worry Zone Six Member States

AFRICA’S Zone Six member countries have agreed to launch the Podium Performance Programme (PPP) to address the issue of athletes poor performance at major international competitions.

Sports Permanent Secretary Agnes Musunga said in Glasgow that the performance of athletes in the region had been a major concern and hoped that the creating of the PPP would help enhance the athletes showing.

Whe she congratulated bronze medallist Ben Muziyo on Saturday, Musunga said the region was concerned and wanted to find a solution to end the poor run.

“Few African countries have continued to make a mark at the international stage while our region still lags behind despite a few countries trying here and there to win some medals. The launch of the Podium Performance Programme will help us address this issue,” she said.

“Competing and exchanging ideas with other regional members will greatly benefit us especially that we have infrastructure acquired mostly during the Zone Six Games and as such there must be no failure,” she added.

Musunga said her ministry seriously consider the sports scholarships offer for sports management courses from Herriot Watt University of Scotland.

She said a number of coaches and administrators will be sent to Scotland for studies to help Government cut down on costs paying expatriate coaches.

Musunga said she was happy with Muziyo’s performance at the games and urged him to work hard and take sport as his profession.

“You should continue working hard and we are happy with your achievement. You should seriously take sport as your livelihood as it is a paying sport, you may consider turning professional one day. Seek guidance as our doors are always open,” she said.

Meanwhile, National Olympic Committee (NOC) president Miriam Moyo has observed that Zambian athletes lack competitive preparations ahead of international competitions.

Moyo said in an interview in Glasgow yesterday that while the athletes picked would have been the best in the country, there was need for them to compete with other ger nations in a bid to help them adequately prepare for a competition like the Commonwealth Games.

She said the NOC is working with other regional countries at introducing competitions aimed at giving the athletes especially the boxer’s fights to enable the coaching bench pick the best pugilists.

Moyo said this would help coming up with a g contingent unlike the athletes always competing locally and picked based on that performance.

“As zone, we are thinking of giving our athletes more competitions in a bid to help them prepare a bit more, we have noticed that this is a big problem in boxing because we may pick some boxers thinking they are the best when they were not when pitted against ger opponents,” she said.

Moyo said she expected more from the athletes that participated in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games than the two bronze medals won by judoka Boas Munyonga and Muziyo.

“When you gauge this performance based on the Deli 2010 Commonwealth Games, then I can say it has been good. We have made some progress but again we may have been preparing based on that performance forgetting that the competition would be much way different and tougher here,” she said.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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