One year ago, a new modern sports complex was inaugurated in Lusaka, Zambia and became the first Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in the IOC’s Sports for Hope programme. This initiative aims to provide athletes, young people and communities in developing countries with better opportunities to practise sport and to be exposed to the Olympic values.
A driving force for sports development and education
The main purpose of the OYDC in Lusaka is to help enhance sports development in Zambia by offering sports competitions and training facilities and providing a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities to athletes and the general public in the region. One year after the multi-purpose complex opened its doors for the first time, it is running at full-speed and currently preparing to join in the worldwide celebration on Olympic Day on 23rd June.
Olympic Day at the new Sports for Hope Centre
Some 1, 000 participants from local areas will take part in an eight-kilometre run, and hundreds of young people from surrounding schools and communities will participate in educational workshops on Olympic values, the fight against doping and HIV/AIDS, environmental preservation, child protection and girl empowerment. In addition, basic health check-ups and counselling, including the measuring of blood pressure and weight, will be offered to all participants. Artistic work and entertainment in the form of drama, traditional dances and imaginary painting of the London 2012 Olympic Games will complete the programme.
Background information on the Sports for Hope Centre in Lusaka
The centre is set up as a multi-purpose complex, including outdoor and indoor facilities as well as a number of educational and cultural areas, such as classrooms, a library, an internet zone and offices.
Led by the IOC, the project was undertaken in partnership with the Zambian government, which donated the land to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Zambia, and the six International Federations (IFs) of athletics, basketball, boxing, weightlifting, handball and hockey, which helped to develop the sports facilities and offered technical expertise as well as financial assistance. The IOC was in charge of the overall construction phase and, together with the other stakeholders, continues to support the Zambian NOC, which is looking after the running and maintenance of the centre.