President Hakainde Hichilema says government is committed to supporting all forms of sports in the country as it is an integral component of the economic transformation agenda.
President Hichilema has further noted that his administration is committed to uniting the country and sports is at the center of this call.
ZANIS sports reports that President Hichilema was delighted to see that the event brought about different health services closer to the people including vaccination for COVID-19 thereby promoting good health among the people.
“ Sports is not just about keeping healthy but that it contributes largely to the people by enables them to earn substantial incomes for their survival, “ he said.
Since the new dawn government remains committed to fully supporting all kinds of sports discipline in the country, Mr Hichilema has since directed the Minister of Youth, Sport and Art to ensure that the 2023 budget line covers for sports equipment.
Speaking when gracing the 22nd ICR at Heroes Stadium, President Hichilema said he is attracted to the event’s theme dubbed : “Building a Stronger and Healthier Zambia,” because it is in line with his administration’s aim to build a stronger and united Zambia driven by economic transformation.
He also took note that through the Inter Company Relay (ICR) has created champions in athletics who are now proudly representing the country and minting medals at regional and international championships, among others.
President Hichilema noted that Zambia needs a multi sectoral approach such as the ICR in it’s economic transformation agenda.
He urged the corporate world to continue supporting the ICR to ensure a stronger, healthier and active nation that is ready to steer the country to unprecedented economic transformation for the benefit of all.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Art, Elvis Nkandu, stated that the new administration desires to see Zambia become a sports powerhouse in the southern region.
Nkandu stressed that it is therefore for this cause the his ministry was going to support every sport in the country.
He noted that President Hichilema’s love is unprecedented and is turning Zambia into a most physically active country in Africa.
And Inter Company Relay (ICR) Founder and Chairman, Elias Mpondela said he is delighted that the coming together of participants has ignited the spirit of one’s wellbeing thereby contribute to the economic transformation agenda of the new dawn government.
Mpondela noted that the presence of President Hichilema at this year’s IRC is a testimony of the new dawn government’s commitment to ensure that this country maintains a healthy lifestyle which is a prerequisite to productivity.
“ A lot of people currently are enjoying good health because of the spirit of exercising instilled in them through the ICR, “ he said.
Mpondela, who is also Zambia Athletics Association (ZAA) president, said the ICR has made huge strides in athletics development adding that he is glad that as a result Zambia is now on the world’s athletics ranking.
Meanwhile, Madison Financial Services PLC who are the main sponsor of the event said it is important for the private sector in Zambia to support government’s efforts aimed at ensuring the holistic well-being of it’s people by promoting health and wellness through sports development.
Group Chairman, Lawrence Sikutwa, indicated that Madison Financial Services has consistently sponsored the ICR from inception and remain committed to promoting health and wellness through sports.
And partner of the event, Good Time Steel Deputy General Manager, Durban Kambaki, said his company is pleased to have partnered with other companies in the sponsorship of the 22nd ICR.
Huang noted that strong and healthy citizens provide much needed labour resulting in reduced down times in industries due to regular visits to the hospitals.
Earlier, the Head of State took time to witness various sporting activities including other relay race categories.
The Inter Company Relay was established in 1999 for the purpose of raising funds for promoting an integrated approach to health response and wellness.