PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says the performance of athletes at respective international competitions has renewed hope and energized the country.

Following the positive strides Zambian talent has made at the international stage recently, the President has committed to continue investing in sport as he urged athletes to continue working hard.

“To our achievers we are so grateful of your achievements, as a country we are proud of you. Hard work pays off and I am not a believer in luck, luck follows hard work to get things done. Discipline, dedication to everything you do is important,” the head of State said.

“Work hard and you shall achieve. Muzala’s talent was far behind, and he raced using his strategy, imagine how the Copper Queens play coordinated football. Thank you for making us proud and we value you our athletes.”

The President was speaking during the lunch-on at state house on Wednesday.

He urged the sports fraternity to delete the notion of referring to some sports disciplines as minor.

President Hichilema advised sports administrators to strive at putting the country on the world map with continued splendid performances through nurturing the abundant talent the country is blessed with.

“I today challenge all sports administrators to change the narrative of calling other sports disciplines as minor sports. The new dawn government believes in supporting all sports disciplines and as I have already said, we are back in the champions league as a country,” he said.

President Hichilema said the country is endowed with a lot of talent that required total support from all stakeholders.

“To our athletes, you have energized and renewed our hope as a country. We shall continue to invest in the well being of our sportsmen and women because they work hard to make the country proud. As government we value our athletes and our prayer is that you remain disciplined and focused in order to attain that which you desire,” he said.

He urged sports administrators to practice good leadership even as they manage athletes.

He also said it was important for administrators and coaches to nurture the talent that the country has.

“Leadership is key and I implore you administrators to take keen interest in good leadership skills. Let us nurture the abundant talent and always remember that there is power in positivity,” said President Hichilema.