ATHLETES COMMISSION HOLDS ANNUAL ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP
The National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) Athletes Commission met athletes from various National Federations in Lusaka yesterday, Saturday 5th November 2022 to discuss issues surrounding Athletes for the 2022 Edition of the Athletes Commission Annual Engagement Workshop.
Athlete Commission’s Sydney Siame started the day with an introduction to the role of the commission and how it operates.
Siame said that the aim of the workshop was for the athletes to meet the elected athletes’ representatives and brief fellow athletes on what is happening within the commission especially giving them a platform to raise their concerns directly with the Commission.
“Since our election into office, we visited 50% of federations, and talks on athletes’ concerns have been held with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Arts.”
He further encouraged athletes to sign up for the Athlete365 online platform which would help them gain knowledge that would be vital in their sport.
Olympians Association President Jonathan Chipalo was also present to share his story on how he utilized the athletes365 which helped him make a career transition following his retirement from active sports.
“When my career in sport ended I thought that was the end of my life but I took signed up for Athlete356 online learning platform and enrolled for different courses, I was then given an opportunity to go and study a business accelerator course After completion I registered my own company and my business started functioning though in the COVID 19 times I was advised by my trainers to take up a mobile training center which yielded good results”.
Chipalo concluded by sharing how the business accelerator program accorded him an opportunity to hold a talk in Egypt about how he was running his business and also encourage other Olympians to register.
On behalf of the Secretariat NOCZ Communications Officer Felix Munyika gave a brief presentation on the multi-sport competitions lined up for the 2023 sports year, expected qualifying standards, and the role of the federations and NOCZ in team selection for various competitions.
Munyika urged athletes to work hard to be part of any games next year because qualifying for the games starts with the athlete’s mentality towards achieving the goal by themselves and no one else.
NOCZ Safe Sport Officer Prudence Nswana followed up with a session on a safe sport, where she highlighted what safe sport is and how to ensure safe sport is practiced within federations.
Nswana said that NOCZ has a safe sport policy which was approved by the board to act as a module for federations that don’t have it. This is to help guide federations on how best to handle matters relating to Safe Sport.
She further added that NOCZ has also completed the whistle-blowing policy to protect athletes and give them the confidence to report on safe sports issues affecting them in their federations.
The afternoon session commenced with a session on Communication Etiquette led by Walter Kasempa, a Communication Expert who was a guest facilitator during the workshop.
Kasempa stated that communication skills are the ability to convey a message effectively and appropriately in the right situation and good communication etiquette includes behavior and strategies that can help one relay information clearly while maintaining positive relationships with supervisors, colleagues, and clients.
He then shared examples of proper communication channels athletes are to use to communicate and focused on what time to communicate, how to communicate, how to write when communicating formally, and lastly personal branding.
A session on Anti-Doping was also part of the workshop which was led by NOCZ Medical Commission Chairperson Dr. Titus Fernando. Dr. Fernando’s session included creating an understanding of what anti-doping is and what an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is.
He revealed that the purpose of anti-doping is to protect the athletes’ fundamental rights, promote health in athletes and promote fairness and integrity in sport.
Fernando further added that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has a code of compliance by signatories and a prohibited list which is shared every year to help guide athletes on banned substances of which he shared the types of testing and doping control processes.
The workshop concluded with a presentation from the Commission Chairperson Richard Mulenga who shared details about the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP) and how athletes are to consider paying particular attention to these values to help them in their careers.
All the sessions included very interactive Question and Answer Sessions for the participants to seek further clarifications on certain issues.
31 Athletes representing sports such as Judo, Hockey, Football, Weightlifting, Swimming, Boxing, Skate, Taekwondo, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball, Cycling, Baseball & Softball, Martial Arts, and University Sports were in attendance.