Government says failure by the National Olympic Committee of Zambia to send all athletes to participate 2014 African Youth Games in Gaborone will deprive the Zambia team of medals.
From a total of about 2500 athletes, Zambia has only sent 28 participants who are taking part in only 8 sporting disciplines out of the available 21 disciplines in Gaborone, Botswana.
Speaking in an interview after he visited the team at the University of Botswana, Youth and Sport Deputy Minister Christopher Mulenga expressed disappointment that Zambia only managed to send a few boys and girls for the games despite the tournament taking place in the neighbouring country.
The Minister stated that the Africa Youth Games was a rare opportunity for Zambia to expose its youths ahead of the Nanjing Olympics later this year.
He explained that government will ensure that it works closely with the National Olympic Committee of Zambia in future competitions to ensure that the country gets proper representation.
Mulenga was however hopeful that the boys and girls representing the country will mint medals despite being few in number.
And both the Zambian team delegation leader Francis Mubanga and National Boxing Coach Maybin Gunduzani said in separate interviews that they are hopeful that the Zambian ambassadors at the competition will reap medals following adequate preparations for the games.
Mubanga said the morale in the camp is high as both the girls and boys are aiming to win medals at the tournament stating that all is set for the competition.
Mubanga expressed satisfaction at the reception the Zambian team has received in Botswana and praised the Zambian government for facilitating logistics for the team.
The 2014 Africa Youth Games are expected to be officially opened today by Botswana’s President Ian Khama at ceremony to be held around 17:30 hours in the National Stadium.