Government says it is concerned with the high levels of health and economic stress affecting the financial sector and has since implored the corporate world in the country to deepen its engagement in sporting activities to promote healthy living.
ZANIS reports that Ministry of Youth, Sports and Arts Permanent Secretary, Kangwa Chileshe said an active lifestyle of exercising and healthy living can help address the health and economic stress affecting the financial sector.
“I am well aware that most working professionals, especially those working in the financial sector , are exposed to high levels of work related stress and fatigue that normally arises from long working hours, very busy work schedules and demanding performance targets, ” said Chileshe
Speaking when he graced the 2022 Bankers Sports Day in Lusaka, Chileshe said active physical exercise can help prevent non-communicable diseases and enhance the effectiveness and productivity of working professionals in the country.
The Permanent Secretary said the Bankers Sports Day resonates well with government’s national sports policy of using sports for health promotion to address communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country.
Chileshe said government will continue to provide an enabling environment to support the private sector to participate in the development of sports in the country.
“I therefore expect the corporate world to rise to the occasion and help government to develop and promote sport to higher levels,” said Chileshe.
He said it is through sports that the nation as well as work places can get united regardless of language, religion, race and age.
“Let us embrace this opportunity to unite around sport, because sport not only benefits the nation as a whole but it also benefits us as individuals in the sense that we will be able to live healthier lives and fight non-communicable diseases” said Chileshe.
The Permanent Secretary urged the working professionals that turned up from over 25 financial institutions to make physical exercise a permanent feature so as to inspire children to take up sports.
And Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) Chairperson, Mizinga Melu said the financial sector is committed to ensuring that workers embrace an active sports and healthy lifestyle.
In a speech read for her by Vice Chairperson, Mwindwa Siakalima, Ms Melu said her association buys into the vision of the UPND administration of turning Zambia into the most physically active nation in Africa.
“For good physical fitness and strength, sport should be part of our integral life…A healthy employee is a productive one and likewise a productive employee adds to the performance of an organisation,” said Ms Melu.
Ms Melu said the financial sector will benefit from continuous physical exercises as it will have less stressed workers who will work towards providing Zambians with effective financial systems to make smart investments and contribute to economic growth.
“We equally aim to provide Zambians with effective financial systems that will drive towards a more prosperous Zambia, a more financially fit Zambian population,” said Ms Melu.
President of the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services, Moses Shuko said the institute will continue to promote active and healthy living in the financial sector.
Mr Shuko said the institute remains committed to partnering with the financial institutions in order to transform the sector and grow the economy through enhanced financial knowledge and skills development.
The 2022 edition of the Bankers Sports Day was held under the theme ‘Building a healthy and resilient financial sector through sport’.
The inaugural Bankers Sports Day was held in 2019 but was disrupted in 2020 and 2021 by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.