Mbu­lawa set to go to Aus­tralia

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Allen Khu­malo Sports Reporter

NA­TIONAL bowl­ing cham­pion El­liah Mbu­lawa will be­come the first black Zim­bab­wean to rep­re­sent the coun­try at the World Bowl­ing Sin­gles Cham­pi­onships to be held in Aus­tralia next year.

Mbu­lawa shrugged off stiff com­pe­ti­tion from 30 other bowlers from around the coun­try vy­ing for the na­tional crown in Kadoma last week.

“I am so ner­vous be­cause I think this is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity for me. I will not be rep­re­sent­ing my­self or my club, but the whole coun­try will be look­ing to me to make them proud. I know it won’t be easy, as I will be fac­ing more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers from across the globe,” said an elated Mbu­lawa.

“Rep­re­sent­ing the prov­ince was not an easy task con­sid­er­ing that this was my first na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Some guys from Bu­l­awayo pulled out of the com­pe­ti­tion at the last minute, so I had to face the chal­lenge on my own. This gave me a lit­tle fright, but through sup­port from my coach and Good Hope Coun­try Club, I man­aged to pull through.”

Mbu­lawa, who was also the 2012 and 2013 Bu­l­awayo Club cham­pion, said he did not think the sport would bring him this far.

“It all started when I was work­ing at Bu­l­awayo Bowl­ing Club and when no one was around I would take the op­por­tu­nity to play on my own. By then I was so cu­ri­ous about how the game was played, so I kept on prac­tis­ing un­til I be­came good.

“One day Don Rigby (his coach) saw me play­ing then he asked me if I could play in other com­pe­ti­tions. I told him that I was not ready, so I asked him to let me play in the so­cial com­pe­ti­tions to gain ex­pe­ri­ence and meet other play­ers. In my first com­pe­ti­tion, I be­came club cham­pion for two con­sec­u­tive years and that re­ally en­cour­aged me.

“It’s all hard work and hav­ing pas­sion for the sport. Ever since I started, I never stopped and pushed my­self harder to be­come suc­cess­ful un­til I came this far.

“I also hope that by win­ning the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion it will en­cour­age other black Zim­bab­weans to take up the game, as it’s not a white man’s sport,” he said. — @ khumza­llen.

El­liah Mbu­lawa

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