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11 Feb 2010
IOC News

Sport for Hope Centre in Zambia to open soon

The new Olympic Youth Development Centre in Zambia, an innovative pilot project of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring the joy of sport to young people in developing countries, is on track for a May opening.

Learn, have fun and become sports heroes

The first-of-its-kind sports centre will give young people in Lusaka an opportunity to engage in sport and learn about Olympic values. “We gonna have fun, we gonna learn, we gonna make friends and we gonna be sports heroes”, said enthusiastic Chiko Lumbwe, a young volleyball player, in a video message to the IOC members, who received a progress report during their meeting in Vancouver today.

The IOC aims to replicate the project in other developing countries through the International Olympic Committee’s Sport for Hope Programme.

Strong partnerships

The success of the project so far is also thanks to the strong support of the six International Federations (IFs) of athletics, basketball, boxing, weightlifting, handball and hockey, who helped to develop the sports facilities, and offered technical expertise as well as financial assistance.  

More than sport

The sports complex will include outdoor facilities for athletics, football, basketball, tennis, handball, volleyball and hockey, as well as a multi-purpose indoor sports venue. The centre will also offer education programmes, health services and community activities. It will be owned and operated by the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, with support from the IOC, the government of Zambia, International and National Sports Federations and donors.

IOC member Patrick Chamunda of Zambia thanked everyone involved in the project:
“Above all, the long-term sustainability of it will depend on how we are able to look after the facilities that have been constructed,” he said.

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