Matete Zeroes In On Zambia CWG Prep

The Post (Lusaka)

January 31, 2006
Posted to the web January 31, 2006

Wendy Nambule

FORMER 400 metres hurdle specialist Samuel Matete has said Zambia will continue failing to reap medals at international tournaments because Zambians are “daydreamers.”

And Matete has predicated that Zambia will not win any medal at the Australia Commonwealth Games billed for March 16-27. In an interview yesterday, Matete said Zambians were only ambitious but did not put up proper preparations when going for international events.

“We Zambians are daydreamers, we are never serious with sport. There is nothing happening in sport and there is no interest at all,” he said.

"For example, what is happening in regards to the preparations for the Commonwealth Games? Nothing, but meanwhile we expect the athletes to reap medals.

:frowning: “The only thing we hope for now is miracles to happen to the athletes and if there are no miracles it is embarrassment that we get.”

Matete said he was not ready to contest any seat at the forthcoming Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) slated for March 31 because of " sport apathy."

“I am not yet ready to be part of ZAAA. I have no time for it at the moment, but maybe at a later stage when I change my mind,” Matete said.

“I was active as a competitor and I know what it takes to bring glory, but it is sad to see what is happening to sport in the country and I am not ready to be part of it. There is too much apathy in sport.”

“There is a lot of things I am not happy with that is happening which I am not ready to be a part of. My daughter now is my priority and she is the one I want to make a champion in whatever she chooses to do.”

He, however, said he could only consider joining sports administration if he sees a positive change in approach to issues. “Until we change our focus and ambitions, I will not join them,” he said.

On Zambia’s chances of reaping medals in Melbourne, Matete said the Zambian contingent will come back empty handed because the preparations have not been enough for the athletes. He said there are a lot of events that happen around the world but people put them aside until the last minute for preparations. “There are events that take place each year or after a known number of years like the Olympics, Commonwealth Games but we don’t have the vision for them and we only want to prepare when they are about to take place,” the towering former 400 metres specialist said.

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Matete also said reaping medals at international competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Olympics was not about having good facilities but proper planning.

“It is not about facilities that can make us champions but all we need is the foundation,” Matete said.