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ZP OFFICERS TARGET GOLD MEDALS AT THE 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

By Shapa Wakung’uma, PIMA, LLB, MA DSS

     

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, is an international multi-sport event for members of the commonwealth that will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between 4th April and 15th April 2018. Zambia will be represented by seven sports disciplines namely Swimming, Badminton, Athletics, Table Tennis, Bowling, Boxing and Rugby Sevens. The last edition was held in Glasgow, Scotland in which Boxing and Judo accounted for the only 2 Bronze medals through Benny Muziyo and Boas Munyonga respectively.

The National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) overseas the organisation of these games and Alfred Foloko, who himself is a police officer and President of the NOCZ as well as the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) knows what it takes to feature in such events of great magnitude. How sad that the host country did not include Judo in the games, a repeat of the 2006 scenario when Australia last hosted the Games which meant Judo was held outside the main umbrella. This meant the Commonwealth Judo Championship was to be held in Northern Ireland the same year and never in the sporting history of this country did we receive the amount of medals that we did from one sporting discipline as was the case with Judo. However, for now, the spotlight is on the current happenings – the road to the Gold Coast with particular reference to our very own sponsored personalities.

W/Insp. Siamupangila Ogar and her sister Evelyn Siamupangila who is still a civilian, Sgt. Siame Sydney and Laston Mukosa (civilian) are the Zambia Police envoys. The Siamupangila sisters are in the Badminton team, while Sydney hails from Athletics and Lastone forms part of the Rugby teams 7s. Ogar and Evelyn’s road to the Commonwealth was not without huddles. Their entry into Team Zambia was secured after competing in the South African, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia International Tournaments. Their latest encounter was the Algerian qualification Tournament.I know for a fact that Sydney has had to go for 10 competitions in Europe, among them the world championship which was held in London before making it onto the Commonwealth Team. It is a tedious experience which requires total commitment and yet when viewed by non-athletic lenses, it would appear just ordinary. The 20 year old will go to Gold Coast bubbling in confidence owing to a string of high international exposure. His mates and Officer in Charge at Matero Police Station should know better; he obviously spends most of his time conditioning his body for such calling.LastonMukosa just came back from the Zimbabwe 7s international competition and had a convincing victories including over Africa’s best, Uganda.

The tenacity and enthusiasm of these athletes should be admired by all of us including the young ones whose dreams it is to carry our flag at such high profile international sports competitions. We wish you the best and thank you for being part of the prestigious Team-Zambia, Gold Coast, 2018!

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