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It has been two years since they last took place, the CANA ZONE IV Swimming Championships finally took off today at the OYDC- Olympic swimming pool in Lusaka.

Over 300 swimmers representing 14 countries across the Southern and Eastern Regions of Africa are participating in the international sporting event which will run for the next 5 days.

Officiating at the opening ceremony this afternoon, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Art Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe said the championships are an important opportunity for everyone to establish friendships and cement the already existing ones.

NOCZ President Alfred Foloko (right) welcoming P.S Kangwa Chileshe (Left)

Mr. Kangwa encouraged the officials, athletes, and coaches to take advantage of events to share experiences and compare notes in various spheres of life besides sports.

And Zambia Swimming Union (ZASU) President Guy Phiri could not hide his delight to have the swimmers from the region back in the water two years after Botswana hosted the championships.

Mr. Phiri thanked the Government through the Ministry of Sport for providing support to the Swimming Union in hosting the Championships at short notice.

Meanwhile, ANOCA Zone VI and National Olympic Committee of Zambia President Alfred Foloko who was also present at the opening ceremony re-echoed the important role that sport plays in changing the trajectory of nations and in the lives of the athletes.

From L-R: CANA ZONE IV President Jesi Naidoo, P.S Kangwa Chileshe and MYSCD Director of Sport John Zulu

Mr. Foloko said Sports such as this have a powerful unifying effect and should be used as a springboard to actualizing the visions of the various sports organizations.

"This event is also part of our collaborative effort of Sport in the region between Sports Confederations, ANOCA, and AUSC Region 5 to develop and grow sport participation and performance," he said.

And CANA ZONE IV President and Bureau member Jace Naidoo said the championship are very important to CANA as they speak to the shared vision of Long Term Athlete Development for Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

He urged the athletes to put in their best and take advantage of the event to set their personal best times and qualify for the World Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary later this year.

The CANA ZONE IV Swimming Championships first started in 2004 with only 4 participating countries and 56 swimmers but has since grown to include more than 15 countries and 300 plus swimmers from across the region.

The 2022 edition will run from Thursday 14 April to 18 April 2022.




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