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31 May 2007
IOC News

Launch of the ‘Sport for Hope’ project in Zambia

The second African trip of IOC President Jacques Rogge concluded yesterday in Zambia, with the official launch of the ‘Sport for Hope’ project. Still accompanied by Lassana Palenfo, IOC member and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), and Sam Ramsamy, IOC Executive Board member, President Rogge was welcomed in Lusaka by IOC member Patrick Chamunda, Minister for Sports, Youth and Child Development Gabriel Namulambe and NOC President Mirriam Moyo. A meeting with the Zambian President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, and the Vice-President, Rupiah Banda, was followed by a working session with the NOC Executive Board and the national federations.
A joint vision of sport for hope
After the inauguration of the Mandebvu Olympafrica Centre, the IOC delegation visited the venue of the future Olympic Sport for Hope Centre, for which the IOC President signed a bilateral agreement with the Zambian Minister for Sports. This Olympic centre is a multi-purpose complex financed by several partners. The Zambian government will donate the land to the National Olympic Committee. The IOC will build the facilities, and more than half a dozen International Federations will offer expertise and finance the building for their own specific infrastructure around the core centre. Close to school, this centre will provide the perfect opportunity for boys and girls, and the general public, to take part in physical activities for many years to come.
A test to benefit other developing countries  
Zambia has been chosen to host this test project as the future host of the African Games in 2011, so it will be able to use this centre to prepare its athletes and even use it as a competition venue. This project is very important for the IOC. If it succeeds, it will enable other developing countries to benefit. It is also an experiment – which the IOC wishes to repeat elsewhere - in bringing together for the first time the government, NOC, national and International Sports Federations and the IOC to collaborate on projects for the benefit of young people. “With such an Olympic Sport for Hope Centre, athletes, young people and communities in developing countries will have the same opportunities as their peers in developed countries to practise sport and be educated in the values of Olympism” said the IOC President.
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