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  • Writer's pictureFelix Munyika

TALENT IDENTIFICATION TRAINING CAMP AND TOURNAMENT HELD IN SIASIKABOLE VILLAGE

The Southern Province Athletics Tournament took place in Siasikabole Village, Choma, on Sunday, August 27th, 2023. Boniface Kambikambi, the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ), graced the event with his presence.


The tournament followed a two-week talent identification training camp that had taken place earlier, involving 43 athletes aged between 12 and 19 years, as well as 7 coaches from various regions of the Southern Province. Among the attendees was Luyando Gamela, who had recently represented Zambia at the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games.


In his address, Guest of Honour Boniface Kambikambi expressed NOCZ's belief that the provincial talent identification training camp and tournament were not just events but also stepping stones toward greater achievements. He emphasized that such initiatives provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills, compete for positions within national teams, and secure their places in history by qualifying for upcoming events such as the Accra 2023 African Games, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and the 2024 AUSC Region 5 U20 Games in Namibia.


"These tournaments are more than just competitions; they are the stages where dreams become reality, where hard work pays off, and where our athletes emerge as true champions," he added.

Kambikambi also noted that being in Siasikabole village reminded him of the immense potential hidden in the rural corners of the country.



Kambikambi pictured starting the Men's 3000m Race during the tournament


"This very village, where we stand today, has produced talents that have brought pride to our nation on the international stage. We take immense pride in the accomplishments of Luyando Gamela, the women's 3000m runner who recently represented us at the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. Her journey is a testament to the fact that talent knows no boundaries and that every corner of our nation holds the potential to produce exceptional athletes," he said.

He concluded by expressing gratitude to the Local Organising Committee, athletes, coaches, and officials for making the event possible.


Meanwhile, Davison Mung’ambata, the General Secretary of Zambia Athletics, revealed that the talent identification project had received support from the Siasikabole Community.


"I'm pleased to see everyone present, including parents, school officials, and community leaders who have been supporting us since the beginning, starting from August 11th up to today, August 27th. The athletes and officials have been in training at the Siasikabole Sports For All campsite, a project we're developing in this area," he explained.


He further mentioned that the training camp and tournament aimed to identify talent for upcoming national and international competitions. Athletes from rural areas like Siasikabole Village would have the opportunity to challenge others and vie for positions in the national team, but preparation would be crucial.



Middle distance runner Luyando Gamela competing in the Women's 1500m during the tournament


"We will soon organize another training camp to prepare you for national tournaments. This way, when you compete in Lusaka for positions in the national team, you'll be able to compete effectively against athletes from across the country."


Accompanied by Sikaleya Gamela, the Choma District Commissioner and Chairperson of the Southern Province Athletics Area Board, Kasolo Chisenga, the Southern Province Sports Coordinator under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Arts, and community leaders from Siasikabole Village, Kambikambi toured the Siasikabole Sports for All Project.







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