The Zambia Amateur Athletic Association (ZAAA) and Inter Company Relay (ICR) has advised the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to consider postponing their Health Walk and Run event slated for June 22 as it clashed with the Inter Company Relay (ICR).
The UNFPA Health Walk and Run which includes a 5km health walk has also not been sanctioned by the Zambia Amateur Athletic Association (ZAAA) and the National Sports Council, bodies mandated under the Sports Act to regulate sports activities related to athletics in Zambia.
“I have spoken to the organisers of this event namely UNFPA and the Minister of Health and I have advised them to first seek authority of ZAAA and National Sports before they can consider hosting this event. We also expect every lover of athletics to be joining the Republican President HE Edgar Lungu and the Inter Company Relay this coming Saturday at the Heroes Stadium and not anywhere else,” said ZAAA President and ICR Chairman Elias Mpondela.
This year’s ICR is the 21st edition of the Inter-Company Relay (ICR) and will be this Saturday on June 22nd 2019 at Lusaka’s Heroes Stadium under the theme “21st ICR – The Key to New Life Style -Walk and Run” with Madison Life Insurance earning the naming rights to edition as the headline sponsor.
The Madison 21st ICR will be graced by the Republican President, Mr. Edgar C. Lungu who is expected to lead in the 400m presidential race.
Mr. Mpondela said those who did not want to partner with ZAAA or seek their guidance of the hosting of mass athletics events should consider delinking athletics from their events.
“Its my humble suggestion that they delink aerobics with from running and where they seek to combine them they should seek the consent of ZAAA who are mandated by law to regulate and coordinate athletic activities in Zambia. If in doubt let them consult with the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sport,” explained Mr. Mpondela.
So far 75 companies have confirmed participation in the 21st ICR and the registration centre has shifted to Heroes Stadium for those not yet registered. Activities planned for this year’s event includes the 21km and 10km runs, others are 5km health walk, 100m CEO race, 400m presidential run and 100 Zambia-China Friendship walk. Kids athletics are expecting children from the surrounding areas to come and participate in the Kids activities.
“The 21st ICR has been named after Madison Life Insurance who have pledged to support the ICR and make this edition better and more successful than previous editions. Zambia Breweries will bring together all participating companies for the health dinner a day before the ICR while our all-weather partner Bata Shoe Company will be the official foot wear and sponsor of the Bata Power Race. Top Star will provide live broadcast of the event while China Jiangxu will provide the medical equipment support and Avic International will supply the winners trophies. Zambeef has confirmed participation of more than 60 of its staff in various races and Zambia State Insurance Corporation will provide insurance cover to all participants,” says Elias Mpondela, ICR Chairperson.
The ICR is a Zambia Amateur Athletic Association corporate social sporting event that brings together companies and communities to promote health lifestyles through sport and play activities and has been providing free testing and health screening against selected medical conditions to all since 1999. Funds realised from the ICR activities are ploughed into developing athletics in Zambia including Talent Identification Programmes (TIP) and promotion of excellency among athletics in Zambia.
“Over the years, funds realised from the ICR activities have helped ZAAA to identify young talents from rural areas, especially young girls and has helped coaches and athletes prepare for upcoming competitions that Zambia has reaped medals and recognition. The ICR has improved health lifestyles among participants, improved the running of athletics sport clubs and has helped Zambia produce champions in regional competitions,” says Elias Mpondela.
The annual ICR has also become companies’ team building exercise and has helped reduce the social distance between executives and employees. The ICR also allows companies to interact with their clients and potential markets while show casing their brand identity and their corporate social responsibility activities to the nation through live news media broadcast services at the event.
The ICR also enables busy employees to have their vitals and other medical conditions checked by a variety of experienced doctors and health practitioners.
The first Inter-Company Relay was first held in 1999 and has grown into one the most prestigious gathering of various professions and companies around a sporting event. The ICR is also a great contributor to the professional development of athletes under the Zambia Amateur Athletic Association (ZAAA).