Community members cheered with successful hosting of Play 2 Conserve grand finale

Community members cheered with successful hosting of Play 2 Conserve grand finale

Hundreds of young people and community members surrounding the OYDC Zambia – Sports Development Centre on Saturday 31st October, 2020 turned up at the sports facility to witness the crowning of champions during the “Play 2 Conserve” grand finale supported by WWF Zambia.

OYDC Zambia and World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) earlier this year partnered for a successful project delivery dubbed “Play 2 Conserve” were sport was being used to teach the masses about environment protection.

From the time the project started over 1000 trees were planted and with over 60,000 people being sentized about environment protection from communities such as Chaisa, Mandevu, Emmasdale, Kabanana, Chazanga, Chipata and Zingalume.

In his remarks, guest of honour National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) General Secretary Raphael Mulenga who represented the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Emmanuel Mulenga disclosed that government attaches great importance to environment protection and hailed the OYDC Zambia and WWF for teaming up to use sport as a tool for the awareness of protecting the environment.

And OYDC Zambia Chief Executive Officer Dr. Fredrick Chitangala, thanked WWF for the enormous support it rendered to during the period the project was being undertaken. He appealed to WWF for more support so that the sports facility can continue with the project which he said will be a catalyst to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

Meanwhile, WWF Acting Country Director Isabel Mukelebai, said the Play 2 Conserve project was a three months conservation initiative directed at inspiring children and the youth to be more empathetic towards wildlife and environment while focusing on the struggles and challenges they encounter. She further said her organization will look for more partnerships with stakeholders to drive the project to the next phase stating that WWF hopes that the project has inspired the sporting world in Zambia to take a closer look how their sport activities interact with the natural environment, and to see what they can do to foster biodiversity conservation.

And National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) president Alfred Foloko, who was among the delegates attending the closing ceremony said the Olympic movement in Zambia fully supports initiatives such as the Play 2 Conserve project and called for the continuation of the project. He further, commended the OYDC and WWF for a smooth successful delivery of the project which has benefited thousands of people to know more about environment protection.

Others who were in attendance to witness the grand finale include; Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Technical Director Lyson Zulu, Christopher Katongo Foundation (CKF) Executive Director Emmanuel Kunda, WWF staff, Wildlife Environment Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ) representatives among others.

After the ceremony invited dignitaries took part in the tree planting exercise which was led by guest of honour National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) General Secretary Raphael Mulenga.

Meanwhile during the same event on Saturday, 31 October, 2020 the HIV prevention through sport project with support from PEPFAR came to an end. The project was used to disseminate HIV prevention messages to the masses using sport after the OYDC had partnered with PEPFAR.

Retired Zambian boxer Kennedy Kanyanta, who won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the men’s flyweight category urged young people during the Champions Talk to be wary of HIV/AIDS. Kanyanta disclosed that if young people are not careful with life and end up contracting HIV their dreams of becoming future sports heroes may be shuttered.

During the same time a consortium of youths calling itself Phenomenal Youths Zambia donated 140 hygiene packs for the adolescents at risk of HIV as the nation battles with the Covid-19.

And the Zambia Weightlifting Federation through its president Mutale Masala donated assorted hygiene items to the OYDC Zambia to help the sports facility fight the Covid-19. The items donated include; thermometer, washing soaps, face shields, 1.5 lifters hand sanitizers among others.

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