THE outpouring of sentiments on your favourite column, the SPECTRUM over the past four months from the wider sporting and indeed non-sporting communities has been wonderful to see. In my opinion it constitutes long-overdue recognition of the unsung heroes that have featured on this platform as true sporting greats.
The truth is I do believe that this column has brought to the fore the true champions who represent the future of this country and they truly deserve praise and recognition for their stunning achievements that were all in obscurity, until the Spectrum was inaugurated.
My mailbox has been overwhelmed by messages from the readers and this time around, I thought it wise to take up the back seat and allow the readers to be in the driving seat express their views on the impact this column has made, both to them and indeed the different sports personalities that have enjoyed the spotlight since inception.
However, in the interest of space, I picked out a few comments that could share with the readers.
Luke Wakefield: Hi, My name is Luke Wakefield, I am the founder of The Wallace Academy, a nonprofit organisation that operates in Kalingalinga, Lusaka that promotes social development through sport in youth.
I am based in the United Kingdom and with The Wallace Academy based in Kalingalinga. We have a collection of Project managers and coaches that organise activities on a day to day basis.
We currently have a thriving netball programme; however, we are very keen to start in rugby.
I am a Level 1 rugby coach in the UK, and I have been playing the sport from the age of 6. I currently coach 2-7 year olds in the UK.
I have recently read your article ‘Joseph Ingwe: Driving Force Behind Grassroots Rugby’. I was wondering if you had any further information about Joseph and maybe even some contact details for him, as I would love to know more details that could help us at The Wallace Academy to establish rugby in Kalingalinga.
“Hello, I read your article in the SUNDAY TIMES about Tilka Paljk’s swimming career. It really was a good piece of writing. I was in school with her and went to watch her compete during the 2012 Zone Six Games in Lusaka and all I can say is that she shows amazing commitment and determination and she has a lot of belief in herself. Her achievements are astonishing and as her friend, I can only support her in any way I can and get behind her as the entire nation should because she will make all more proud,” wrote Brandon.
National Olympics Committee (NOC) general secretary Hazel Kennedy says, “The beauty of the Spectrum is that it has endeavored to bring to the surface the little known athletes that have flown the country’s flag higher in various international tournaments. I feel the column in timely especially that some minor sports attract little publicity. This is the way to go as we try to develop the standards of athletes together.”
George Gondwe, the acting president of the National Paralympics Committee (NPC) writes:
I would like to commend you my brother for taking an initiative to introduce this column.
There are a lot of athletes both able and disabled in Zambia who have done extra-ordinary things in the area of sports and yet their achievement remain unnoticed.
Your column acknowledges the much needed collective determination to build interest in people living with disabilities to take part in sports. The media is an important tool in creating a legacy that shines a light on the abilities and achievements of disabled people.”
All I am asking you is to extend the olive branch to the physically challenged in sports so that they can feel part and parcel of those with the potential to mint medals for the country.
“I am an upcoming Body Builder based in Kabwe and the body building article you wrote in the Sunday Times has enlightened me and many more young people wanting to join the sport.
You properly highlighted the nutrition and personal training background that one needs to know exactly to make it.
Many people create their own recipes to sustain their rigorous workouts. But through your article I’ve come to understand that Bodybuilding is all about eating clean, eliminating any processed foods, and feeding the body with natural goodness.
I have been lifting weights at home and I think there is more to Bodybuilding than just lifting weights, the nutrition aspect is cardinal.
Continue with same spirit and I look forward for another piece on bodybuilding, writes James Chansa.
“Hi, my name Mukalula, an Ex-police Officer. I must say your story about Judo legend Shapa Wakung’uma under the headline, “Shapa’s Quest for Glory continues,” is motivating and makes interesting reading. I think this is the step that the media in the country should be taking.
Shapa is credited with grooming Police instructors in the Zambia Police Service namely Mwansabemba and Chijoka. Today, judo has become part of the Police training curriculum as judo skills equip recruits with physique apprehension of offenders.
This shows the milestones Shapa has achieved and I am happy that your Newspaper is recognizing uinsung heroes in our country. Please continue with the same momentum.
Mashinga Chenga writes, “I am an ardent follower of your articles and I want say this column is timely because it’s giving us a different approach t the way we see sports personalities.
Many a time we hear about the same names in the sports circles but personally, I think it’s time we treated all sports activities equally in terms of support and media coverage.
Even though I am a soccer lover, I feel there is need to break the monotony of football by extending the attention to other sports.
I am happy that through your column, you are trying to highlight most of the things that we don’t know, which was missing previously
For instance, I never knew that we have a talented female chess player in Ndola and a Judoka in Lusaka who have won scholarships because of their commitment in taking part in sports. Keep up with the good works Times of Zambia, such writings will motivate other youths to take part in sports because sport makes a difference in people’s lives.”
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