THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) will next weekend host the first-ever Inter-Mine 15s tournament at the Mufulira Leopards Rugby Club.
The tournament will attract all mine-sponsored rugby teams and is the brainchild of incumbent ZCM president Goodwell Mateyo. It is meant to encourage mining companies to support sports development.
Mateyo explained that the old Copperbelt Province had a rich history and culture of sponsoring sport, especially rugby – a tradition he said should be preserved.
Teams from the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces are expected to participate in the competition.
“This tournament is meant to remind mine owners both on the old Copperbelt Province and the new ‘Copperbelt’ in North Western Province of this heritage so that they can continue to give back to the community through sport,” he said.
Mateyo stressed that sport plays an important role in bringing communities together, promoting social and cultural cohesion and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Regular involvement in sport can benefit individuals and communities and in the long run contributes to a range of positive outcomes, which include young people taking up sports as a serious career option. Sport can ease the pressure on the government and all stakeholders such as mining companies to create jobs if more young people take it up as a career,” he said.
The ZCM president described 2019 as a challenging year for the mining industry and observed that the tournament would give the industry and mining communities something to celebrate.
The teams to take part in the tournament next Saturday include: Roan, Chibuluma, Nchanga, Konkola, Kansanshi, Mufulira Leopards, Diggers rugby clubs and Mufulira Central Training Centre. For the ladies, Mufulira Leopardesses will slag it out against the combined Nchanga and Konkola women’s teams./SM