The Government has pledged to help the Zambia Bowling Association (ZBA) stage the 2015 African States Bowling Tournament (AST) slated for September 11 to 19 in Lusaka.
Sports Minister Vincent Mwale said this when he presented a cheque worth K30,000 of the K50,000 pledged by the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) during a sponsors’ cocktail held at the Lusaka Club on Friday night.
Mwale said he was unimpressed with the donation the Government made towards the K800,000 needed by ZBA to host the event to avoid facing stiff punishment from the World Bowls Federation (WBF).
He said the African States Bowling Championship was a big tournament and that the Government’s presence needed to be felt more than the K50,000 it was giving out.
Mwale reiterated that the Government was not a supporter of one sport but catered for all sporting disciplines as evidenced by the funding of the netball team with K1.1 million for their outing to the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
“That was a lot of money going into one team and for one event but that shows you how committed we are towards sports development. I can promise you that we shall find more money to assist you,” he said.
Despite the pledge, Mwale urged ZBA to be more attractive and go out to the corporate world to seek for support.
ZBA president Chali Chilombo hailed the Government for their commitment towards the sport and other corporate entities that had pledged to help make the regional tournament a success.
“We as bowlers do have a distinguished record. Our women are the China Open champions and we are determined to also win this regional tournament. We hope the two hosting clubs will be up to the task,” Chilombo said.
The regional nine-day tournament will be held at Lusaka Club as well as at the Central Sports Complex in Lusaka’s Longacres area.
Lusaka Club Bowling section chairperson Joseph Bwalya hailed the organising committee for their efforts to make the tournament a success and called for intensified efforts in raising the required money.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) came on board with a pledge of K2,000 for the tournament that is expected to attract participation from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland.