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  • Writer's pictureFelix Munyika


Updated: Aug 30, 2021

The National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) joins the rest of the Olympic Movement in mourning the death of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge who passed on yesterday at the age of 79.

Reacting to the death of Rogge, NOCZ President Alfred Foloko has said that NOCZ and the nation at large will fondly remember Rogge as a sport-loving individual who advocated for youth participation in sport and wanted to see them excel at the highest level.

“Rogge’s dedication to youth sport saw him inaugurate a new sports complex in Lusaka in the presence of Forth Republican President Mr Rupiah Banda, International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer, International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre, IOC Member Patrick Chamunda and about 2,000 people, including 600 youths who were about to start using the facilities for the first time back in 2010,” he said.

The Olympic Youth Development Centre (now called OYDC Zambia – Sports Development Centre) in Lusaka was the first of its kind. Its main purpose is to help enhance sports development in Zambia by offering sports competitions and training facilities, but it also provides a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities to athletes and the public in the region.

Led by the IOC under the Leadership of Rogge, the project was undertaken in partnership with the Zambian government, which donated the land to the NOCZ, and the six International Federations (IFs) of Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Weightlifting, Handball and Hockey, which helped to develop the sports facilities and offered technical expertise as well as financial assistance.

Foloko added saying that he remembers Rogge’s second visit back to Zambia in 2012 accompanied by a delegation that included former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

“The delegation came to check on the impact of OYDC to the community and they were pleased with the impact the centre was having on young people in Zambia and around the region,” he added.

Jacques Rogge (left) President of the IOC, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second left) unveil plaque at OYDC Zambia - Sports Development Centre as NOCZ Secretary-General by then, Hazel Kennedy Looks on |UN Photo/Evan Schneider

"His death is a huge loss for the global sports fraternity, and I believe the Olympic movement in Zambia will forever be indebted to Rogge and may his soul rest in eternal peace," he concluded.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Olympic movement, family, and friends during this difficult time.


Rogge headed the Belgian Olympic Committee from 1989-1992, he became an IOC member in 1991 was President of the European Olympic Committees from 1989-2001 and was President of the IOC from 2001 to 2013.


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