FEMALE sprinting sensation Rhoda Njobvu says Commonwealth and African 400m champion Muzala Samukonga’s performance at the Games is a big challenge for other athletes to step out of their comfort zones.

And Coach Douglas Kalembo says raising champions is his calling and he is happy with the financial honours Samukonga is receiving from various stakeholders.

Meanwhile Liquid Telecom yesterday handed over K12, 500 to Samukonga for his splendid performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, Njobvu said Samukonga’s performance at the Games is a wake-up call to many athletes to up their game.

“The performance of Muzala was shocking and to most of us athletes it’s a wake-up call that we need to continue putting in the hard work and commitment to reach his level. We really need to step out of our comfort zones in order to achieve that which we desire. To be honest his performance is a motivation to many young athletes out there who have dreams of representing the country at international level,” Njobvu said.

She said it was important for sports men and women to trust the process and believe in themselves.

“We have to be happy for Muzala because he has brought so much pride to the country. This should motivate us to strive to achieve more medals for the country when given an opportunity to represent. So, we must be disciplined and focused in everything we do as athletes,” said Njobvu.

And Coach Douglas Kalembo said raising champions was his calling.

“For me, this is a calling from God. I was in the USA for 27 years and decided to come back and give back to my country Zambia. So it’s not about money or anything else but if the money comes, I will appreciate. For now, I will do more to mentor athletes because I get excited producing champions. Making or helping athletes achieve their target makes me happy and satisfied. It’s always a pleasure to help groom athletes,” said Kalembo.

Meanwhile Liquid Telecom CEO Mark Townsend yesterday handed over K12, 500 to Samukonga for his splendid performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

“We are happy to honour our gold medalist Muzala Samukonga with a sum of K12, 500 and going forward we will want to support a number of athletes when representing the country at international level. Speed and agility is key to winning as we saw from Samukonga and we believe in agility and speed as a company hence appreciating the sacrifice he made,” he said.

He further urged other athletes who never won medals to continue working hard and believe that their time shall come.

“We definitely as liquid have an appetite to support athletics and we need to look at the development of all sports disciplines .There is something cooking in the kitchen to support athletics as they prepare for the Olympics,” said Townsend.

ZA president Elias Mpondela thanked Liquid Telecom for the good gesture of supporting the development of athletics.

“This is a great occasion for us and it’s good to see Liquid Telecom come on board. Athletics has made the country proud and we shall do more .It’s the first time we’re receiving such support from stakeholders and government,” said Mpondela.