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  • Writer's pictureFelix Munyika

End of Year Message by National Olympic Committee of Zambia President Alfred Foloko


Fellow Zambians, athletes, officials, and all friends of the Olympic and Commonwealth Sport movements.


As we bid farewell to 2023, I am pleased to reflect on what has been a remarkable year for Zambian sports. Throughout the past 12 months, our athletes, officials, administrators, and support institutions have collectively contributed to the success and growth of our sporting community.


For us at the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) Innovation has been a key driver of progress, with the delivery of various non-sport programmes and activities that have engaged and enriched our community. The engaging sessions held during the delivery of various NOCZ programmes stand as a testament to our commitment to excellence in every facet of our operations.


Capacity building remains a source of pride for us as we actively contribute to the development of Zambia's sports landscape. Our diverse programmes and initiatives, including Strategic Plan Development for national federations, introduction of the Advanced Sports Management Course in addition to the already existing Sports Administration Course, Technical Coaching Courses, and tailor-made engagements for athletes through the Athletes Commission, underscore our dedication to fostering a culture of continuous improvement.


This period witnessed the expansion of the annual Inclusive Sport Festival, with activities spread across three locations - Maheba Refugee Camp in Northwestern Province, Livingstone in Southern Province, and the main event held in Lusaka. We also amplified our efforts toward sustainable environmental practices through various sport and non-sport initiatives that contributed to our outstanding performance.


In a bid to widen our stakeholder engagements, I am delighted that during the course of the year, we welcomed two new members to the Olympic Family in Zambia—the Zambia Golf Union and the Wrestling Association of Zambia. Their inclusion marks a significant step forward in our collective pursuit of sporting excellence and unity.


On the field of play, 2023 has seen our athletes shine brightly on regional, continental, and global stages. Their improved and promising performances in various competitions are a source of pride and inspiration for us all. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all athletes, with special mention to those in Athletics, Boxing, Judo, Football, and other disciplines who have consistently demonstrated unparalleled dedication and skill.


I want to recognize the historic achievements of our athletes in various competitions, including the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago. The participation of our young and emerging athletes in this global event is a testament to their talent and a stepping stone for even greater accomplishments in the future.


As we celebrate the accomplishments, we also acknowledge the significant milestones achieved by athletes and Teams such as the Men’s and Women’s National Football Teams, the Zambia National Women’s Netball Team, Muzala Samukonga, Patrick Chinyemba, Steven Mung'andu, and Simon Zulu in their respective sports. These teams and individuals have not only made history but have set an inspiring benchmark for their peers to follow.


A special commendation goes to our Boxing athlete Patrick Chinyemba for being the first Zambian to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This accomplishment paves the way for others to emulate, and I encourage all athletes to continue working hard and utilizing available opportunities, such as the upcoming Accra 2023 African Games, to secure qualification.


I extend my sincere gratitude to all stakeholders, beginning with the government's commitment through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Arts, for ensuring that Zambian sports adheres to international standards. Your continued collaboration is vital for the betterment of our sports landscape, with the well-being and aspirations of our athletes at the forefront.


I want to express my appreciation to the NOC membership, executive board, and the Secretariat, led by NOCZ Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi, for their outstanding work in 2023. I look forward to an even more exciting 2024, a major sporting year with our sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as we forge ahead upholding our commitment to providing a safe and clean sporting environment for Zambian Athletes.


In closing, I encourage all NOCZ members and stakeholders to anticipate the release of the 2023 Executive Report. This detailed outline will provide insights into the various programmes and activities undertaken by NOCZ throughout the year.


Wishing you all a joyous festive season and a prosperous New Year.


I Thank You,


Alfred FOLOKO

President

National Olympic Committee of Zambia

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