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OLYMPIC REVIEW43CASE STUDIES

regions around the world." IOC Director General Urs Lacotte adds: "This centrecoming to life means that in the future the IFs will bemuch more enthusiastic to contribute and to join thisinitiative."In fact, it was decided very recently that the site ofthe next Sports for Hope centre will be Haiti which washit by a devastating earthquake at the beginning of thisyear. Once again, this project will become an effort ofvarious partners and once again, sport will drivecommunity building and social change.In Zambia, sports became part of the programmebased on the desires of the host country and theeagerness of the international federations. Hockeywanted a bigger presence in Africa to encourage growth."I think this is a fantastic step," says Leandro Negre,President of the International Hockey Federation. "Wehave to invest in the youth, especially in these countries,and sport is the best way."The synthetic hockey pitch is sand-based, not water-based, which helps with maintenance in such a dryclimate. Floyd Chomba, 19, who made the long trip fromthe Copperbelt, says it will put Zambia on equal footingwith other nations that also have artificial turf. "It willimprove our practice, our accurate passes and ourscores," he says. "Everything in the game will change."Athletics and boxing were already well establishedin Zambia. The track, says Albert Mundia, 22, is"actually the best in Zambia." He used to train for the800 metres on grass, but now runs on a Mondo tracksimilar to the one used at the Beijing Games. Theboxing hall is considered one of the best in Africa for itssize and lighting. "We hope they can bring back thisglory to Zambia with this training centre," says C.K. Wu,President of the International Boxing Federation. Talentwill be indentified through the centre, which will serveboth high-performance and grassroots interests.Coaches will be brought in by national and internationalfederations and training camps will be held. Success atthe OYDC in Lusaka will be measured by how manyathletes enter the complex gates, which are just off abusy road that exemplifies the poverty of the area.Vendors sell goods from rundown stores while trucks,often hauling dozens of workers at a time, barrel past.The contrast to the gleaming centre with the Olympicrings atop the water tower is startling.Since its opening, an average of 700 participantsper week have utilised the facility, which is getting offthe ground slowly to avoid missteps. "It's going reallywell, better than we expected in most areas," saysClement Chileshe, Acting Centre Director and Sports forHope Project Manager. The age range is five to 35,with the majority between ages 12 and 18, likelybecause there are 16 schools and 25,000 childrenwithin a radius of 500 metres. Some are awed by theirnew surroundings. "We get some who get shocked in avery positive way," Chileshe says. "They get excited andthen they get inspired."Maintaining the centre will cost $500,000 to$750,000 a year. The IOC will contribute 75 per centthe first year, 50 per cent the second and 25 per centthe third. Then the centre is expected to pay its ownway through sponsorships and fees. Samsung hasalready offered to pay about $20,000 a year to employfive coaches. The OYDC's success will also hinge onanother set of numbers: Zambia's results in Olympic,world and regional competitions. Zambia IOC memberPatrick Chamunda says National Federations used tocomplain that poor facilities contributed tounderachieving performances. "Now everything ishere," he says, "The challenge is in their hands."Miriam Moyo, Zambian NOC President, believes thecentre will change the attitude of elite athletes. "There'sbeen this excuse of wanting to go overseas to train on aparticular kind of surface," she says. "But now we'vebrought it home, so there's no excuse now." She's hoping for the country's first Olympic medal inat least two decades. "Our vision is for 2020," Moyosays, "but if we can do 2016, we'll go for it."Frank Fredericks, IOC member from Namibia and afour-time Olympic silver medalist, says that if you lookat the powerful nations in terms of the medal tally,"everyone has a facility they can call a home for sports.It's very important. Having a centre like this gives notjust Zambia hope, but also the whole region in Africabecause all of us can know that there is a facility thatwe can go to train our athletes."Demonstrations during the launch celebrationexposed some children to sports they'd neverencountered before. "Somebody on the track waswondering, 'What kind of football is played with sticks?'"says Hazel Kennedy, Secretary General of the NOC."Because hockey's so much like football, isn't it?" Some children are also unfamiliar with the conceptsthat will be taught in classes, such as gender education,female empowerment, life skills and leadership. The rateof child pregnancies is extremely high in the area,Chileshe says, because young people have "too muchfree time" after school and get involved with sex, drugsand alcohol. "We want to work hard to change that," hesays, "and create positive futures for young girls who arereally marginalised in society."Jan Lamb, principal at a local school, BaobabCollege, says talent has always been readily identifiedin Zambian athletes. "As a teacher, I've seen lots ofchildren that I felt, 'I wish there was somewhere that Icould send them,'" she says.Now that place exists. Kennedy regards it wistfully.She played hockey on the national team in her youth,with Moyo playing on the other side. "When I look atthis, I think, 'Wow, if only.'" Had she had access to acentre like this - turf with no bumps, no long grass, noant hills - she smiles, "I would have been a star." ?44OLYMPIC REVIEWCASE STUDIESLeftIOC President Jacques Rogge and IOC Zambiamember Patrick Chamunda at the Opening Ceremony