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Vernon Mwango: Taekwondo rising star


WITH the African Union Sports Council Under-20 Region Five Games in Angola around the corner, athletes are positioning themselves to be part of the squad that will represent Zambia.
The biennial games are mandatory and all members of the region are not only mandated to participate but host the games as well.
Zambia hosted the 2012 edition before passing on the button to neighbours Zimbabwe, who were hosts in 2014.
This year’s games will be held in December in the Angolan capital, Luanda.
Apart from promoting relations within the region, the games provide an opportunity to young athletes to gain the desired exposure as they prepare for bigger platforms.
Zambia is expected to send a minimum number of 36 athletes in different disciplines that include football, boxing, judo, and track and field events.
Despite taekwondo not being part of the disciplines expected to represent Zambia, 14-year-old Vernon Mwango has remained optimistic that the sport may be included on the traveling contingent.
“I know that taekwondo is not part of the list, but with hard work, things can change. I will continue working hard and prove that I am worth representing the country at such tournaments. I want to be part of the team,” he says.
Vernon was born on June 12, 2002 and lives in Lusaka’s Chipata township with his parents.
He is currently in grade six at Grace Community School in Chipata township.
Vernon wants to join the Zambia Army after completing school.
“I have always dreamt of becoming a soldier and I know I will make it one day. It is my passion and I think I am strategic in taekwondo as I am preparing to be in the military,” he says.
Vernon started associating with taekwondo in 2012 and is currently a member of Zed Lions.
Zed Lions, who are based at Olympic Youth Development Centre, compete in the Samsung Youth Challenge and Vernon is one of the consistent members of the team.
He is, however, yet to win a medal but believes he has ability to challenge for glory.
Apart from representing Zambia at international competitions, Vernon is dreaming of competing in South Korea where he believes the sport is more competitive.
His coach, Sydney Njala, is his role model.
For comments: dmutakafimbo@daily-mail.co.zm

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