By Frank Lupupa
LEGENDARY Diggers fly-half Patrick Chanda has advised young players at the rugby club not to prioritise money but concentrate on playing the game if they are to develop into stars.
Chanda, who was part of an all-conquering Diggers side that won a plethora of trophies alongside the likes of Longa Chikwamo and Benaya Mukwamba, among others, said in an interview that although there was no monetary gain from playing rugby in Zambia, benefits such as getting employed by the club’s sponsors should be motivation enough for the players.
The Zambian rugby league is not yet a professional and therefore does not generate enough resources.
“Our days of playing actively as we used to do are not that much. This year, I will play a bit to help the team but not as much. So my advice to the upcoming youngsters is ‘do not put money first but just concentrate on playing and improving on the game because that’s how you can become a star’. That’s why we have won so much at this club,” Chanda said.
“We know that rugby is not professional in Zambia but we are fighting to turn it professional but before that happens, we must just focus on playing rugby. We get the benefit of employment, that’s the motivation because we don’t get paid from rugby and so our benefit is employment or education sponsorship.”
Chanda added that although Diggers came second best in almost all competitions this season, he expected the club to collect trophies next year as it was rebuilding this season.