THE UNFORTUNATE DECLINE OF OYDC ZAMBIA: Is the iconic Olympic Development Centre – OYDC turning into a ‘white elephant’?


THE UNFORTUNATE DECLINE OF OYDC ZAMBIA: Is the iconic Olympic Development Centre – OYDC turning into a ‘white elephant’?

Zambia’s largest multipurpose sports facility in Lusaka now looks post-apocalyptic as government keeps mum on refurbishment works.

What has happened to the iconic OYDC, which was once regarded as a state-of-the-art facility?

OYDC, which was originally called the Olympic Youth Development Centre, was opened in 2010 as an IOC Sport for Hope pilot project. A first of it’s kind in the world, the facility at inception boasted of state-of-the-art facilities never seen before in the Country and some African countries.

From 2010, the facility was headed by Clement Chileshe who was succeeded by Dr Frederick Chitangala in 2017.

The facility was constructed to accommodate numerous Olympic and non Olympic sports such as football, handball, hockey, tennis, table tennis, volleyball and basketball. Others are taekwondo, judo, athletics, netball, boxing and chess. Swimming was later added to the list after the 2012 Zone XI Youth Games.

OYDC boasts of having produced some of the best athletes in Zambia. The include the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games gold medalist and 2019 African Games champion, Sydney Siame and several other athletes and teams.

The facility has hosted several local and international sport and non sport events, becoming the preferred venue for events.

OYDC has a lodge which was officially opened in 2013 and has been used as preferred accommodation for athletes preparing for major competitions. Teams that have in the past used the Lodge include the Copper Queens and several national teams and athletes.

From inception, the facility was managed by highly qualified employees, most of whom have left for greener pastures.

With reduced funding by the IOC, the family has experienced declining standards of facilities. This has affected programme implementation and revenue.

Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) Chief Executive Officer Fredrick Chitangala was last year quoted to have said that the facility needs more than US$ 350,000 in order to renovate various sports facilities at the centre.

All facilities at the centre are now dilapidated and can not host any top international events, the football pitches, the hockey field, the running track, the basketball courts to name but a few.

It is a shame that a facility which as seen Zambia produce top class athletes who have gone on to represent the country at top international events is now dying and no one seems to care.

In it’s 13 years of existence, the centre as produced world class sports men and women and therefore deserves all the attention it deserves to keep running.

📸 OYDC Zambia – Sports Development Centre

CREDIT: Sports Centre


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