ZAMBIAN judokas should reap 16 gold medals at the 2015 11th edition of the Congo –Brazzaville All-Africa Games (AAG) scheduled to run from September 4 to 19, says sports minister Vincent Mwale
Mwale said the brilliant performance by the Zambian Judokas at the Southern Africa Judo Confederation Championship in Swaziland last month was the assurance of better things to come from the September AAG.
He was speaking at a luncheon at Golden Peacock hotel in Lusaka in honour of the judokas that scooped 19 medals in Swaziland last month.
He said the brilliant performance of the judokas at the event proved the ministry right in selecting judo as one of the three high performance sports chosen for pilot African Union Sports Council Region 5, Podium Performance Programme (PPP).
“It is my hope and trust that you will bring back 16 gold medals from the AAG. Despite facing challenges on your way to Swaziland, you defied all odds and won medals. You exhibited true sportsmanship and flew the Zambian flag high, “he said.
He urged the judokas not to relax but to continue working hard as the sky was the limit.
“Your vision shouldn’t end with the AAG but reaping a gold medal at the upcoming Olympic Games. To the coaches, your hard work paid off and as our unsung heroes, job well done”, he said.
Mwale said the luncheon proved to the country that Government did not only support football but other sports disciplines as well.
He implored other sports disciplines to put in all their best so that they too could put Zambia on the map.
He also commended Segocoa Zambia Limited for partnering with the ministry to host the luncheon.
Segocoa deputy general manger Emily Ho who spoke on behalf of the manager said the company would continue to support sports in Zambia and was happy to be associated with the heroic judokas.
Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) president Alfred Foloko said sports were a key element of progress for the youths, in the spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace.
“Sport is one of the highest values of humanity. The supreme value of sport is the education, the spirit and the discipline it confers to society,” he said.
Giving a vote of thanks, gold medallist Abigail Chindele appealed to the ministry to give full sponsorship to judo and that the judokas would not fail them but bring more medals.