National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) President Alfred Foloko has praised the contribution of judo to society in the country after a training course was launched in Lusaka.
The 2019 International Judo Federation (IJF) Academy Level 1 practical training course was officially opened at the Olympic Youth Development Centre.
Foloko, who is also President of the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA), welcomed the participants and IJF experts who helped to deliver the course.
The experts are led by Dutchman Mark Huizinga, the Olympic champion in the under-90 kilograms category at Sydney 2000 and bronze medallist at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.
"On a NOCZ view, I would like to assure IJF of our commitment to collaborate and cooperate and ensure that we continue with this project as it is fully supported by the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," Foloko said.
Foloko added: "We will ensure that in years to come, this project will continue to exist.
"Judo is one of the most educative sports among the Olympic sports, hence we take education very seriously and that’s the reason experts are here, so that we take education to another level so that we ensure that the values of our sport are passed on to athletes through education of coaches."
The opening event was also attended by Bessie Chelemu, director of sport and child development from Zambia's Ministry of Youth Sport, and IJF Executive Board member and director of sport Daniel Lascau.
"With the support of different institutions such as the IOC through the NOC and the Zambia Government, it was possible to build a Judo Centre here," Lascau said.
Chelemu revealed the Government was working closely with NOCZ and ZJA to help to increase the number of judo coaches working in Zambia.