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OLYMPIC REVIEW41CASE STUDIESthrough sport and the values of Olympism. Not only willits state-of-the-art facilities develop sport in Zambiaand the entire sub-Saharan region, it will also offer awide range of educational programmes, health services(medical, opthalmic and dental care) and communityactivities to improve the quality of everyday life in acountry ravaged by HIV, poverty, crime andunemployment."Sport strengthens the body and the mind," IOC President Jacques Rogge says, adding that itintegrates people into society and teaches them torespect the rules of the referee. "It brings hope, itbrings dreams, it brings joy. And for the nation, it allowsfor identification and a lot of pride. That's the reasonwhy we built this centre."Rogge conceived Sports for Hope in 2005 as aninnovative way to serve underprivileged youth in ?SPORTS FORHOPETHE OLYMPIC YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, IS THE FLAGSHIP PROJECT IN THE IOC'S SPORTS FOR HOPE PROGRAMME. KAREN ROSENREPORTS ON THE IMPACT IT IS ALREADY HAVING ON THE COUNTRY'S YOUNG PEOPLEMofya Yamba has a basketball court all tohimself as he dribbles, launches his bodyskyward and smoothly makes a lay-up inthe early morning sun. It is Inauguration Day for theOlympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Zambia,and Yamba is practising his moves in preparation for anexhibition game. The size of the facility has taken the17-year-old by surprise. Used to seeing only onebasketball court at other sports centres, here he hasalready counted six with brand-new backboards - andthere's an indoor court as well. "I've never played onanything like this," Yamba says. "For us, this is hope.They're kind of saving our lives with this."That's truly the mission of the complex on theoutskirts of Zambia's capital city, Lusaka. The pilotproject in the International Olympic Committee's Sportsfor Hope programme, the OYDC aims to transform lives

developing nations. He recognised the advantage ofpooling the IOC's resources with those of government,International Federations (IFs) and a country's NationalOlympic Committee (NOC) "because you can buildmuch more if everyone contributes a little bit," he says.About half a dozen African countries were consideredfor the pilot project which has an estimated final cost of$13 million. But Zambia won out, partly because it wasslated to host the 2011 All-African Games. When theglobal economic crisis forced Zambia to relinquish theevent, the IOC remained committed to the complex.After all, the nation of 13 million was geographicallysituated to become a regional hub for training andqualification competitions. The enthusiastic response ofthe Zambian government was another major factor. Itdonated the 14-hectare piece of land at the corner ofNew Kasangula and the Great North Road, nearIndependence Stadium, and provided financial supportfor a total of $1.5 million. The IOC, in its first suchundertaking, built the core venues and supervised theconstruction that began in October 2008. The six IFsthat are on board - athletics, basketball, boxing,handball, hockey and weightlifting - contributed sport-specific infrastructure and expertise. The NOC ofZambia, in liaison with the other stakeholders, runs andmaintains the centre. The sports facilities are of such ahigh calibre that they are capable of hostinginternational competitions and events. The complexincludes synthetic football and hockey fields, a track,tennis courts and courts that can be used forbasketball, netball, handball and volleyball. Indoors,there's a boxing ring and a multi-purpose building thatcan accommodate sports such as judo and gymnastics.There are also classrooms, a library and a computerzone that Rogge says will introduce young people to"the digital age". Future plans include accommodationfor athletes on-site.When the centre was inaugurated to great fanfareon 11 May 2010, the fields and courts were broken inby the feet of 600 young people, some having driven sixhours from the Copperbelt region to participate. Roggeand Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia,cut the ribbon in a ceremony attended by more than2,000 guests. Banda, noting that 68 per cent of theZambian population is under the age of 35, says thecentre "sparks a new drive and momentum towarddeveloping sports in Zambia" and "gives youth anopportunity to realise their full potential".In the past, Zambia, renowned for its thunderingnatural wonder, Victoria Falls, has made barely a splashin the Olympic Games. The country has won only twomedals: a bronze from light flyweight boxer Keith Mwilain 1984 and a silver from 400-metre hurdler SamuelMatete in 1996. "Our youth should be proud they have a facility ofthis magnitude," says Kenneth Chipungu, Minister ofSport, Youth and Child Development. "From timeimmemorial, they have been struggling to have a placelike this and finally we have it." Zambia must prove it deserves the honour, whilealso withstanding the pressure of being the prototypefor the Sports for Hope concept. "It's a young country," Rogge says. "They arephysically very talented. They have the drive and the will.They are not blasé, so I think it's going to be good. Onthis success, we hopeto build similar centres in other ?42OLYMPIC REVIEWLeftLocalschoolgirls trying out theimpressive newfacilities atLusaka for thefirst time RightGetting stuck inon the syntheticfootball pitchCASE STUDIES