Sport leaders from all the 12 Districts of Southern Province met on 23rd – 24th September to strategise on development of sport in the province and to consult on national sport policy.
The meeting was convened by the National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) in partnership with the National Sports Council of Zambia and the cooperation of the Ministry of Sport and Youth, Sport Department in Southern Province.
Speaking when receiving the recommendations of the Forum, Provincial Permanent Secretary Mr. Sibanze Simuchoba said upholding the integrity of sport is crucial and and critical to attaining good governance, which is demonstrated by transparency and accountability for resources expended.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Permanent Secretary acknowledged that the Sport Policy Forum was important for ensuring development and implementation of sport policy and service that is adequate and relevant within resources available to the government and its implementing agencies.
Participants in the Forum were representatives of the District Sport Advisory Committees, Provincial Advisory Committee, and Ministry Provincial Staff in the departments of Sport, Youth and Child Development. The Forum sessions where facilitated by NOWSPAR General Secretary Ms. Lombe Mwambwa.
The key themes that emerged from the Forum are the need for more platforms for policy monitoring which include both government officials and members of the sport community; access to information and resources and capacity development of the sector.
National Sports Council of Zambia Board Member, Ms. Matilda Mwaba highlighted the National Sports Council’s interest in addressing all facets of sport development including policy and programme delivery. For this reason the NSCZ is investing in Talent Identification and support to district level sport structures to ensure implementation of programmes. The NSCZ donated a Trophy and shields to be used as prizes during the fourth coming Independence Cup. NOWSPAR also contributed a Trophy to be allocated to the Women’s Tournament and announced intentions to expand it’s Goal Programme for adolescent girls to the Province through various partnerships.
Ten key themes were agreed on as important for inclusion in this round of Policy review by the Ministry of Sport and Youth:
- Administration: Robust Systems, standards and capacity building
- Infrastructure: Sufficient, appropriate, accessible and conducive infrastructure
- Capacity Development: Systematic development of capacity of sport structures
- Funding: Adequate and timely funding for the sports structures and programmes
- Talent Identification: Structured, comprehensive, consistent programme with adequate human resource and standards
- Equipment: Appropriate, affordable and good quality equipment
- Coordination: Well aligned, inclusive, systematic and clear coordination
- Governance and Accountability : Transparent, accountable, capable and gender inclusive sport governance
- Safeguarding and Protection: Adequate system, standards, codes of conduct, training and reporting
- Platforms for engagement: Opportunity and capacity for participatory sport policy monitoring by service consumers
The National Sports Policy (2009) is at present under review, the policy is the fundamental framework for resource allocation in the sector. It brings together the national development aims on one hand and local sporting ambitions on the other hand.
Considerations to be made during this process are that the delivery of sport services to all communities is a right and a commitment that affects the achievement of several interests of the citizens and the government including health, education, employability and diplomatic outcomes.
NOWSPAR, is engaging stakeholders through our Campaign ‘Sport for Everyone. Everywhere.’ to promote the provision of sport and physical activity to all in an effort to advance policy and programme action across sectors that results in access for all despite geographic location, class, disability, age or sex.
This campaign theme is also the theme of the Consultation in order to emphasise the spirit of inclusion, the ambition of diversity and the interest in a Sport Policy that results in service provision in sport that is fair and meets the needs of citizens throughout the Country.
The expectations of the stakeholders are that the resulting National Sports Policy will reflect the ambitions and priorities of the people while responding to the gaps, needs and opportunities.
For a long time, Sport Policy has focused on Sport competitions and infrastructure for high level competitions, one of the key considerations that should be made this time is for community level physical activity and sport participation.
NOWSPAR works to support stakeholders to ensure policy, practice and perceptions that are enabling for inclusive and equitable participation in sport for all especially girls and women. This event was delivered within the framework of NOWSPAR’s Girl Power (Women Win) and Every Body Matters (NIF) Programmes with tools and institutional capacity development in Policy Engagement and Social Accountability Mechanisms from the Zambian Governance Foundation between 2012 and 2015.