Sports

Mpondela wants post-Covid-19 survival plan

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
ZAMBIA Athletics president Elias Mpondela says there is urgent need for Government and sport associations to devise a strategic plan on how to manage athletes during and after the Covid-19 virus as the sporting sector has been hit hard financially.
Mpondela in an interview said associations especially those qualifying athletes to the 2020 Olympic Games require financial help to adequately prepare the athletes for the task ahead.
“We have been talking about when the Covid-19 virus ends but have not thought about a plan on how we will manage our athletes now and after. We need an integrated plan from Government through the Sports Council of Zambia on how sports will be managed during and after the Covid-19 virus.
“We need to come up with a comprehensive strategic response in keeping our athletes especially Olympic potential candidates and those that have qualified to remain in top form. This will need resources, and most associations are on drip financially due to this pandemic. I hope government can give us a little something to keep us running,” he said.
Mpondela said the 2020 Inter-Company Relay (ICR) is still set for June but they will keep monitoring the pandemic situation.
He however said the Lafarge Lusaka marathon set for May 9 has been pushed to September.
“ICR is our biggest source of income and we are monitoring the Covid-19 situation,” he said, “But we will not host the event just for the sake of money but we will do what is practically important, that is the Covid-19 has to be fought and people revert to their normal lives for it to be hosted.”

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