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Judo is not generally a sport we associate with Zambia, but thanks to the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka and the Samsung Judo Challenge, the African nation has found itself two rising talents aiming for next summer’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Joshua Nyondo, 16, and Nokuthula Banda, 15, both discovered judo at the multi-sport complex. Part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Sport for Hope programme, the OYDC welcomes thousands of youngsters and seeks to promote and facilitate access to sport for young athletes and local communities.
Following an intensive training programme at the OYDC since the age of 10, Joshua and Nokuthula recently made their debut on the international scene at the African Junior and Cadet Championships in Algeria, and returned home triumphant. To everyone’s delight, Joshua delivered Zambia its first silver medal in judo while Nokuthula scored herself a bronze.
“This is my first fight outside Zambia and a bronze is a big boost”, commented Nokuthula.
For the OYDC director, Clement Chileshe, Joshua and Nokuthula are a shining example of the Centre’s programme for young athletes. He added that he has no doubt that the two prodigies will qualify for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, giving Zambia high hopes of a podium finish at the YOG.
Show your support, and join us in wishing Joshua and Nokuthula all the best on their journey!