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  • Writer's pictureChishimba Bwalya

NOCZ Secretary General's 2020 reflection: Kambikambi shares his thought.

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

2020 has been quite a rollercoaster of a year for everyone due to the effects of Coronavirus, which has hit all sectors of the world severely with Sport not having been spared.

We had a great year planned ahead with multiple events lined up like the Olympic Festival which was supposed to be a first for an African country where we get to have mini multi sports games assimilation of what would have been happening in Tokyo.

Besides that, we had planned to continue with our capacity building programmes like Women in Sport leadership seminar, Coach Developers Workshop and hosting other events like the Olympic day with a broader scope compared to what we had previously.

We started well at the beginning of the year and held the Olympafrica Directors meeting which attracted participants from 10 African countries with a view to enhance the networking capacity amongst the member states and reviewing of activities conducted in the past two years.

"We had a great year planned ahead with multiple events lined up like the Olympic Festival which was supposed to be a first for an African country"

In February, we followed up with marketing workshops for national federations and the NOCZ Board providing expert guidance and training around the essential marketing tools needed for sport through a consultant from Idy Sports Marketing.

The administrative side also shared this optimistic start and on the sports side being a year for the Olympic Games some of our national athletes were qualifying for the games.

By March, athletes from boxing, athletics and women’s football, qualified to the games, proving to be one of the biggest achievements. Kudos to these athletes and Federations.

However, smooth as everything had begun, we faced challenges after the outbreak of COVID-19, which required us to suspend most of our plans in line with government’s guidance through Ministry

of Health to curb the spread of the disease.

Globally, the Olympics had also been postponed until 2021, although them being hosted also remains a matter of hope even today.

In March this year, International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to postpone the games until a year later in 2021.

At the secretariat, to keep work moving, we planned a work from home schedule in April in line with Ministry of the Health guidelines to take all necessary precautions.

Despite the year and our plans having been disrupted, we have managed to achieve some of our targets amidst these challenges.

This has been achieved thanks to the adaptation to technology through Zoom, Google and Microsoft online meetings where we have successfully held some of our crucial meetings.

Applying the new normal guidelines we returned to a more physical operational mode as and have been able to host the Athletes Commission Roundtable talk, Sports Administrators’ Workshop with Zambia University Sports Association (ZUSA), Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) conference, Constitutional Review Meeting and the Inclusive Sport Festival.

Sports Administrators' Workshop with ZUSA held at OYDC - Sports Development Centre early in October for three days was one of the key capacity building programmes of 2020. Photo courtesy of; NOCZ Media

It was our desire that despite the limitations, we would finish the year with some activities whilst observing all the health guidelines.

As we come to the end of the year, it gives a sense of gratitude to note that we have pulled through some events successfully amidst the restrictions.

Doing so would not have been successful without the support of all the national federations, athletes and international sports federations that have been with us.

We hope to work together and collaborate even more next year, hopefully under better conditions as compared to this year.

As I conclude, allow me also to officially bid farewell to Mrs Brenda Chipande who was our Executive Director. She has been with NOCZ since 2013 until September this year when she left the position.

Mrs Chipande has been with NOCZ for seven years and served as Executive Director before her departure in September this year..

Her tireless contributions to the operations of the Secretariat was above board and her absence has been felt but the staff have taken a leaf from her contributions and picked up the pace towards

operational continuity.

I wish her well in her future endeavours.

Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation to the rest of the secretariat who have worked tirelessly to ensure that everything was delivered according to the standards set, and the NOCZ Board members who remained supportive towards set activities amidst this year’s challenges.

We hope to achieve bigger things next year both on the administrative side and on the field of plays.

We remain hopeful that Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be a successful event next year.

Boniface Kambikambi

Secretary General, National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ)


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