Team Swaziland: Do Us Proud
…Our very own will aim to shine at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
By Dumisani Ntiwane
(SNSRC Media Officer)
Greetings. Welcome to yet another edition of your favourite column, Shukuma Swaziland.
As a country, we can hardly wait for our national heroes to participate at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
This year’s Games, as most are already aware will be staged in the Gold Coast in Australia.
Anticipation is at an all-time high, as sports fans eagerly wait to see Team Swaziland ‘shine’ amongst the more than 6,600 athletes that will be sweating it out to raise their nation’s name at the largest sporting event to be staged in Australia this decade.
As mentioned, The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) will welcome more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories to the Gold Coast and event cities Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville to share in the celebration of sport, entertainment and culture.
The good news is that the kingdom will be represented. However, this time Team Swaziland has not just gone there to add to the numbers but to compete fully and effectively. It is high time we stand up and be counted as a country.
Worth noting is that we have the athletes to come back home with medals. We have a relatively balanced team that can defy the odds and stun the world. Although Team Swaziland will definitely be amongst the smallest teams in these games, there is hope we will do well as a country, especially when considering the preparations ahead of the games.
In athletics, team Swaziland will be represented by the likes of sprinters Phumlile Ndzinisa and Sibusiso ‘Swazi Bolt’ Matsenjwa. These two carry the hopes of a nation on their tiny shoulders. Much is expected from them. They have the necessary experience to cause an upset, having participated in such high profile games before. The duo has been to the Olympics Games and will certainly not be overawed by another big stage in the Commonwealth Games.
Thandaza Zwane and Mcebo Mkhaliphi complete the athletics team. They too have the potential of doing well.
Two of the country’s best pugilists in Zweli Dlamini and Thabiso Dlamini will be hoisting the flag in boxing. The duo has what it takes as well to at least reach the medal bracket. Boxing is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and the two will be tasked with proving to the whole world that a sleeping giant in Southern Africa has finally awakened.
The cycling team consists of Muzi Shabangu, Gcina Banda and Mduduzi Zwane. This trio is surely one for the future but one cannot rule them out and the possibility of upsetting the apple-cart by bringing back home a medal or two.
The trio is fresh from participating in the African Championships in Kigali, Rwanda, where even though they were outclassed, they gained invaluable experience. It is this experience that will come in handy in the tough Commonwealth Games.
We will be hoping for the best from our team. However, in the event for some reason, our tea fails to perform to expectations, it should still be noted that winning is not just about the medal. As long as our athletes perform to their best and better their ow personal records, there will be a reason to celebrate.
Shukuma with a difference in 2018
As per this column’s assurance early in the year, the Swaziland National Sport and Recreation Council (SNSRC)’s flagship programme Shukuma will take a new twist this year.
This programme, which primarily advocates and promotes participation in sport and physical activity by all Swazis for health benefits and other intrinsic benefits, will now be much bigger and better. It will be improved and enhanced. The dynamic SNSRC team has already hosted two very successful Shukuma already in Mkhiweni and Sigwe. This column assures you that the next one, which will be the third will be the biggest ever seen.
Although the column is still playing cards close to the chest, we can hardly wait to share the good news regarding our new partner. Yes, we have partnered with one of the giant companies for the Shukuma initiative. However, details of the historic partnership will be unveiled in due course, as both parties are still fine tuning the agreement. Just watch this space! Shukuma will never be the same again!
Quote of the week
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination.” – Nelson Mandela, May 25, 2000.
Till next week, Shukuma Swaziland!