ZAMBIA will continue to under-perform at international level because there is no continuity for talented athletes once they leave school, says Zambia School Sports Association (ZSSA) president Chipangano Tembo.
Tembo said the gap between schools and club level is quite big, making it difficult for ex-pupils to turn professional.
He said the association had managed to take all sporting activities nation-wide and managed to tap talent.
He said Zambia had performed well in international school sports competitions but it was not the case at professional level.
“Our programmes cater for the entire nation. Unfortunately the rural child rarely finds his or her way at national level. This is because most of the sports federations are concentrated on the Copperbelt and Lusaka, limiting the talent. Our cry is that federations should look outside the two provinces,” he said.
He however said some federations lack funding and therefore appealed to the corporate world to assist in ensuring that Zambia grooms medal winners.
“The federations need funding to carry out these identification programmes and invest in promising athletes,” he said.
Chipangano called for investment in sporting infrastructure and physical education teachers in schools, especially in rural areas.
“We need more teachers trained in physical education to improve the technical standards. The rural schools need more sporting equipment. I still emphasise, let us look beyond Lusaka and Copperbelt to produce medal winners,” he said.