Lack of equipment affecting Gymnastics growth – Salunoka
Written by Millennium on March 15, 2019
FRANCIS CHIPALO writes
The high cost of equipment has made it difficult to take gymnastics to all parts of Zambia and ultimately affected the growth of the sport, says
Zambia Federation of Gymnastics (ZFG) president, Dr. Richard Salunoka.
Salunoka told The Sun in an interview that the federation was only relying on equipment at the International School of Lusaka in order to keep the sport alive.
He said that despite the space being provided for gymnastics at the Olympics Youth Development Center (OYDC), it was difficult to train there in the absence of equipment.
Salunoka explained that a single piece of gymnastics equipment costs over K100, 000.
“Our interest is to see as many indigenous Zambian kids take part in gymnastics. It is going to be easy when we have our own equipment because we will be able to bring up as many Zambians as possible who can participate in the sport at a higher level,” Salunoka said.
Salunoka said it was the desire of the federation to have competitors that can win medals at international events but that it could only happen when the athletes had access to the right equipment locally for training.
“Gymnastics is a very important sport. It is the foundation for all known sports disciplines that you can talk about and our vision is to take this sport to all the schools in Zambia,” he said.
“Lack of equipment is the biggest challenge to achieving our vision,” said Salunoka.
“I am 100 percent confident that Zambia can participate in all international gymnastics competitions when we have equipment,” Salunoka said.
He said that currently, the federation only had three pieces of equipment, comprising a voting table, parallel bars and a springboard.
Salunoka appealed to government and the corporate world for sponsorship.
He said that people should change their mindset about gymnastics and no longer refer to the sport as a ‘minor sport’ because it is negatively affecting its growth.