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  • Writer's pictureFelix Munyika


The National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) in collaboration with the Olympafrica Centre in Lusaka hosted lean to play session for children below the age of 15 at the Olymapfrica Centre in Lusaka today, with 78 participants from the local community in attendance. The session included instruction in boxing, judo, and Baseball 5, led by Zambian athletes who compete at the highest level in their respective sports.

The event was held as part of the National Youth Day celebrations, which coincided with the 2023 Commonwealth Day celebrations. It provided an excellent opportunity for children to learn new skills and engage in physical activity, while also celebrating the importance of youth in the community.

Highly skilled athletes line up of Commonwealth Games Medallists Stephen Zimba and Patrick Chiyemba joined by Judoka’s Rita Kabinda and Taonga Soko led the sessions. They provided clear and concise instructions to the children, emphasizing the importance of safety and teamwork. The children were engaged throughout the sessions, eager to learn and try new things.

Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Stephen Zimba (in green) sharing some tips with a participant during the Learn To Play Session

In the Boxing session, the children were taught basic footwork and punching techniques. They were paired up with partners of similar sizes and skill levels for practice on pads. The athletes provided individual feedback and encouragement to the children, ensuring that they were learning and progressing at their own pace.

Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist Patrick Chinyemba sharing some tips with a participant during the Learn To Play Session

The Judo session was focused on throws and takedowns, with the athletes emphasizing the importance of balance and timing. The children practiced with partners and learned how to safely fall and roll to avoid injury. The athletes provided excellent demonstrations and explanations, making the techniques easy to understand and execute.

Judokas Rita Kabinda and Taonga Soko speaking to the participants before a Judo session

The Baseball 5 session was a crowd favorite, with children learning the basics of hitting, throwing, and fielding. The athletes provided fun and engaging drills, ensuring that the children were active and involved throughout the session. The children showed great enthusiasm and energy, clearly enjoying the new sport and the chance to learn from top-level athletes.

Overall, the learn to play session was a great success, with the children learning new skills and having fun in a safe and supportive environment.

National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) Leadership comprising of President Alfred Foloko and Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi made an appearance to check out how the session was going.

“It is important to remember the positive impact that sports can have on children's physical and mental health, as well as their personal development. Events like these provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn new skills, make new friends, and develop a love of sports that can last a lifetime. The successful hosting of this event is a testament to the importance of investing in youth and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle,” Foloko said.

NOCZ Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi pictured with the Athletes after the Learn To Play Session

The Olympafrica Centre in Lusaka through NOCZ has thanked the Zambia Boxing Federation, Judo Association of Zambia, and Zambia Baseball and Softball Association for making their athletes available for the session which was vital for the event’s success.


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