Taking stock of 2018
Published On December 28, 2018 » 2161 Views» By Times Reporter » Columns, Sports
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AS 2018 draws to a close, it is about that time we retrospect on how the sporting year has been.
For all the early promise the year teased us with, it sadly all ended up in tears for the Zambian sports teams at the international scene.
There has been a lot of heartbreak in 2018 with little joy found later in the year by the lads at the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Games in Gaborone where team Zambia reaped the largest haul of medals thanks to the young boxers and runners.
Special mention should go to Kennedy Luchembe who has shown consistency with world class performances in all the events he participated and shows a lot of upside. We await his arrival at the World’s Championships in 2019.
Football this year has been very cruel to the Zambian fans. It has only flattered to deceive.
The national teams starting with Chipolopolo, age-group teams and clubs in CAF inter-club competitions including the women teams have all started brightly only to fizzle out of competitions when it mattered most leaving fans heartbroken.
It has left fans divided and angry, administrators scratching their heads while Government has indicated that it was about time the resources are divided accordingly instead of football gobbling up the larger chunk of the cake.
2019 will be testing for the sport both on and off the pitch with a lot of changes taking root in the transition period. Stakeholders need to stay united in purposes for the good of the game.
For all the success scored by rugby off the pitch in terms of sponsorship and better organisation especially for the short format 7s and 10s, we came undone when it looked Zambia was ready to make the next step.
Algeria completely obliterated us in Mufulira in the 15s Africa Rugby gold qualifier while the 7s came short in Tunis to qualify to HBCS World Series.
The controversy that characterised the ending of the league should never happen again as it dilutes the integrity of the sport and dents the image.
Basketball has been business as usual being played and administered as a pass time sport on this country. It is a pity for the young players because the sport looks to have taken a step back in terms of participating in international competitions that matter not those friendly invitational games.
Just like basketball, volleyball has struggled to get sponsors on board and we have lagged behind other countries just like it was at the recent Zone Six championships in Durban where our clubs failed to get out of the groups but at least they participated.
Our boxers have also experienced a deep after the success we enjoyed in the previous years but the administrators are the ones that look punch drunk with their unending squabbles. Clean it up.
Hockey and handball were a pleasant surprise for me with what they achieved.
Happy holidays.
Keep the conversation @LukhandaSamuel or have your say samuellukhanda@gmail.com

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