I know I am destined for better things’
Published On February 8, 2014 » 2820 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Features
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The SpectrumKAFWIMBI Nkole has always made the wins look easy. His play is highly tuned and efficient, and that efficiency has enabled him cruise through years of success and captivating the Squash world with his drive power.
He has always possessed praiseworthy stroke production and shot-making ability, and these traits are complemented by a level of stamina that often wears down his opponents and causes them to eventually give up open balls for his racquet skills to exploit.
His offense-oriented style often overwhelms an opposing player right from the beginning of a game.
Although the start of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games still is a few months away, Nkole’s eyes are set at showcasing a gold-medal performance during the national trials for the selection of the Zambian squash contingent.
“I am not taking any chances. I have to make sure that I train harder ahead of the trials and I have no down that I will make it in the national team,” he said.
By making this statement, Nkole is not being overconfident or cocky. There’s a warm, friendly effervescence about him that make his fans crave for positive results and whenever he is in action, that feeling in his fans is magnified.
Nkole, whose squash career dates back 1993 is ranked seventh in Zambia and has represented the country at various international competitions. He is highly favoured to make the squad.
His probable victories at the provincial and national levels and later on in international competitions garnered him early success.
In 1994, his family moved to Ndola after his father retired from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) and he joined Kalewa Squash club.
As a freshman in the sport, Nkole dominated over local tournaments scooping the Nchanga Open before breaking through to the national team.
Undiscouraged, he displayed great determination in squash that would become his hallmark in future competitions.
Supremely talented and by the time he was 15; Nkole had already broken through the national team and his talent was spotted by Coach Philip Musonda who picked him for the All Africa Games of 1994 in Kitwe.
On that international debut, Nkole came back home with a silver medal. That feat earned him another national team call up for the 1996 All Africa Games on home soil but he withdrew his participation following the death of Patrick, his elder brother who introduced his to the sport.
Patrick passed away at a time Nkole was supposed to be competing in a continental championship.
In 1997, Nkole decided to quit the sport because in his thinking, squash was slowly dwindling and he could not afford to make logistical arrangements for his daily training sessions and the lack of adequate training equipment contributed to his decision.
But ditching squad did not last long as he was convinced by fellow player Fred Chishimba to reconsider his move and he bounced back a year later with a bang, winning bronze at the Zimbabwe squash tournament.
It was followed by a third place finish at the 1999 All Africa Games in Botswana.
One of the best moments of his career was the winning of a gold medal at the 2009 Financial Insurance Malawi Open squash tournament as well as scooping the Nchanga Open.
However, his career has never matched up to his early success, as a persistent knee injury has sidelined him from competitive squash for two years now.
The 34-year-old has struggled with knee problems for much of his career, and last played in the Buildcon Open in 2012 where finished second.
Being out of action for a couple of year because of a knee injury has strengthened his resolve to forge ahead.
He has proved to be one of the most explosive and talented players in squash sport.
He showcased his enormous potential at the international tournaments he represented Zambia and as he subjects himself to intensive preparations in a bid to win a place in the national team bound for the Commonwealth Games, the sky is the limit.
Nkole does not care about his age and his ultimate goal is to be counted among the best players in the world.
“In sports, the order you grow, the better you become and I am not ready to give up now because I know that I am destined for better things,” he said.
Indeed, things look brighter this time around, and with determination and focus, he will realise his dream.
Thinking big in sports comes with a feeling of great expectation and pressure at the same time, but Nkole says, “My work rate in raining has been high and I am trying my best to achieve my top form. Participating in high profile competitions comes with pressure but in my 20 years career in squash I have learnt that hard work relieves pressure.”
Born in 1979 in Mufulira, Nkole is married to Vivian with whom he has two children, Lackson and Mwamba.
His passion for sports can be seen through his current business of selling sport kit, from which family survives.
Worrying over success in sport is for greater athletes and Nkole’s desire for medals is an indication that he is a true athlete whose heart beats for success.
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