Judo Sport

Alex Banda: 17-year-old judoka targeting world honours

RISING STARS with DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO
JUDO is one sport that has brought more glory to the country.
In most international competitions Zambia has participated in, judo always comes home with at least a medal regardless of how other disciplines fair at a particular tournament.
The sport has proved its worth both locally and internationally.
The success of judo could be attributed to the work the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) has put in place.
Just recently, Zambia spearheaded the first International Judo Federation (IJF) African academy project with the successful organisational seminar for leaders which took place at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
IJF president Marius Vizer took personal interest in the first academy project in Africa encouraging the regional judo federation to monitor the development of African coaches at all levels.
Among the countries that took part in the seminar are Botswana, Cameroon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and hosts Zambia.
At the grassroot, ZJA has continued with its robust talent identification programme that has kept producing talented judokas.
One of the promising judokas with exceptional talent is 16-year-old Alex Banda.
BACKGROUND
Alex was born on January 5, 2000 in a family of four.
He is currently in grade nine at Mandevu Basic School in Lusaka.
Being involved in judo has not affected his performance in school.
Alex believes his involvement in the sport has made him remain disciplined and focused especially at school.
He wants to join the military when he completes secondary school.
Alex believes being a judoka will help him maintain the physical strength needed in the military.
“I want to be a soldier. It has always been my passion and I think judo will help me maintain the physical strength,” he says.
CAREER
Alex started associating with judo when he was only 10 years old.
He currently features for Ipon Judo Club which is based at OYDC.
Alex only started competing a year ago and managed to win a medal in the Samsung Youth Sports Challenge last year.
He wants to practice his professional judo in South Africa.
He also has ambitions of representing the country at major global events like the Olympics, World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
“My dream is to practice in South Africa and also make it to the national team. I want to represent the country at major events,” he says.
IDOL
Unlike his colleagues, Alex believes his family has played a major role in his aspirations of becoming the best judoka.
He says his family has always played a cardinal role in his career.
Alex urged fellow youths to consider sports as an extra-curricular activity unlike being engaged in immoral behaviour.
For comments: dmutakafimbo@daily-mail.co.zm

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