Volleyball star’s new lease of life
After almost three years of no domestic volleyball action, former Kutlwano Volleyball Club center blocker Tshiamo Chakalisa, 25, was given a lifeline by a Rwandan based team early this year.
University of Touris Technology and Business Studies (UTB) Volleyball Club offered the player a scholarship to study Transport and Logistics management while playing her favorite sport.
The contract will run for two years with an option to renew if she continues to perform.
In an interview with Voice Sport this week, Chakalisa who hails from Toteng village said she was forced to play volleyball at school because of her height.
“I gradually fell in love with the sport and later joined the mighty Kutlwano in 2013, and I am proud to have been part of their successful generation,” she said.
“I learned a lot from all the senior players we had, the likes of Tracy Chaba and I’ll forever be grateful to them for making me who I’m today,” she said.
The Toteng lanky lass said her opening came after the team lost their center blocked who recently left for greener pastures.
“I fitted like a hand to glove,” she said.
“So far so good in Rwanda. I’m in the first team and there’s fierce competition in the club which is essential for development. There’re also seven domestic tournaments in a year to complement the league, which is just great,” she said.
The player however said the outbreak of Covid – 19 has disrupted their sports calendar and ruined their plans to conquer Africa.
“We were preparing to compete at the African Club Championships which was scheduled for April 2020 in Egypt,” Chakalisa told Voice Sport.
“Now we might only return to the courts in September which can be a setback considering our match fitness,” she said.
The budding blocker however lamented the state of local volleyball and the impact it will have on young talent.
“The absence of the league has impacted negatively on our national team performances and I encourage local players to take any opportunities that come along in order to revive their careers,” Chakalisa said almost dejectedly.
“Playing outside the country could be the only solution which will in the ling run benefit our national teams,” Chakalisa said.