• Felix Munyika

OLYMPIANS URGED TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

This Morning, the Olympians Association of Zambia met in Lusaka to discuss various issues and how they are to give back to the community in relation to sport.


Speaking during the event Olympians Association President Jonathan Chipalo OLY encouraged athletes to sign up for the Athletic365 Digital Platform, a platform by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is a brand mark that takes care of athletes' journey to the Olympic Games and their life after that and gives athletes the opportunity to learn different online courses and guiding them on how to implement what they have learned.


Chipalo also shared with everyone present how his business accelerator program project under Athlete365 helped him grow and brand himself, which opened doors for him to visit other countries to share the business he implemented and how it impacted others.



Olympians Association of Zambia President Jonathan Chipalo OLY Speaking during the forum


While leading a session on Career Transition, Olympian Association Vice President and founder of Samuel Matete Athletics Academy, Samuel Matete OLY who joined the forum virtually spoke about how he decided to start his Athletics Academy as a way of giving back to the community.


Matete who is a Silver Medalist in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games said that athletes need to realize the importance of education because not so many athletes are lucky but when you are, one is to ensure they maximize on planning for life after the end of the career.


Encouraging fellow Olympians in the room, he said “as Olympians, we don not need to sit down, let us give a helping hand to the NOC and other federations as we have been in the game for a long time and we understand what goes on, let us also ensure athletes are educated, by encouraging them and making them understand that sport can come to an end but education will help them transition in other ventures when that time comes”.


Matete echoed the words of NOCZ President Alfred Foloko who was in attendance saying that there is always something to give back to the community and Olympians do not have to be President of a federation to give back.


“Olympians could all be doing something because if they didn’t no one will and don’t have to wait for anyone to tell them what to do, as Olympians can do it ourselves.”

Adding on, Foloko asked everyone present what happens next when one wins a medal, he said coaches put in their best to make sure one is a champion but after that what next?


He expressed gladness in bringing Olympians together to share ideas which would be a good start to present the interests of the Olympians to the NOC before they are escalated to the IOC.


Foloko further highlighted the need for Olympians to give back to federations regardless of the current standing with their federations for the benefit of the young generation of athletes.

He concluded by saying that such gatherings are required to be annual events attracting a wide reach of Olympians from across the Country, He then handed over a badge to Olympian Kenny Mwansa who competed in the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico and was in attendance.



L-R: Jonathan Chipalo OLY, NOCZ SG Boniface Kambikambi, Kenny Mwansa OLY, Carol Mokola OLY and NOCZ President Alfred Foloko


NOCZ Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi also gave words of encouragement to the Olympians stating that he was excited because of the people in attendance, and they have so much to offer.


He added saying that there are international athletes coming from Zambia therefore athletes need to learn to recognize themselves, develop skills that can be offered to fellow athletes, and learn to interact among themselves no matter the level they attain.


In conclusion, Kambikambi urged Olympians to conduct similar programmes among themselves in a bid to attract sports non-governmental organizations who might take interest in working with them as young athletes will get to look up to them for guidance and inspiration.


The forum which was held with support from the NOCZ attracted 23 Olympians and Paralympians who have competed in various games ranging from the Mexico City 1968 to Tokyo 2020 Games.