A new sports complex in Lusaka, Zambia, which is a pilot project of the IOC’s Sports for Hope Programme, will be inaugurated on 11 May 2010 in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge and the President of the Republic of Zambia, Rupiah Banda. The centre will promote sports development in the region, as well as offering a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities.
Partners with a joint vision
The Olympic Youth Development Centre has been set up as a multi-purpose complex, including outdoor facilities for athletics, football, basketball, tennis, handball, volleyball and hockey, an indoor sports venue, a boxing hall, a gym, a number of classrooms and locker rooms. The success of the project so far is thanks to a unique partnership model: the Zambian government donated the land to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Zambia, the IOC had the overall control during the construction phase and built the facility, and the six International Federations (IFs) of athletics, basketball, boxing, weightlifting, handball and hockey helped to develop the sports facilities, providing technical expertise as well as financial assistance. The Zambian NOC will now look after the running and maintenance of the centre, with the ongoing support of its partners.
More than 2,000 people are expected for the inauguration next week: 600 youngsters of different ages will take part in sporting, educational and cultural activities on site, and will give a glance of the promising future of the centre, which, close to schools, will provide the perfect opportunity for boys, girls, and the general public to take part in physical activities for many years to come. Furthermore, several spectators and representatives of the Zambian government and the Olympic Movement will be joining in the celebration.
From vision to reality – Sports for Hope
The Sports for Hope Programme aims to provide athletes, young people and communities in developing countries with better opportunities to practise sport and to be educated in the values of Olympism. Basically, every individual should have access to sport, and the IOC works constantly towards making this vision a reality. Currently, the IOC is investigating possibilities to replicate the project on other continents.