The Sunday Mail
BRIAN Chamboko loves table tennis.
For him the sport epitomises ‘everything’.
“It has even given me table manners,’’ he jokingly quips as he sits down for an interview.
For over a decade now, the 32-year-old has been among the country’s elite players. His rivalry with his ‘good friend’ Vikram Singh could be one of the reasons the game has survived this far.
The rivalry has even been called a ‘blessing’ to the local game.
“I believe this rivalry has in a way helped keep the local game afloat. There is a crop of players who are team Vikram and the other is team Brian,” said Chamboko.
“They emulate our type of play and it’s good to know we have made such huge, positive impact on the game,” he said.
“On the table, Vikram is my number one enemy, we always bring out the best in each other.
“However, once play is over, we are the very best of buddies,” said Chamboko, who is ranked fourth in the country.
The former Ellis Robins pupil is grateful for the opportunities table tennis has given him.
“I supply table tennis equipment, so in a way this sport is both my passion and my profession.
“Bringing these two worlds together is testimony of how this game has become part of me.
“I also do some coaching at Harare International School, and I am very passionate about nurturing talent and playing my part in ensuring that the game progresses,” he said.
After finishing 2018 as a silver medal winner in the open category of the Chinese Ambassadors Cup in Zambia last November, Chamboko has now set sights on this year’s Africa Games in Morocco in August.
“Zambia has become like a second home for me. I remember winning the Four Nations title there in 2009, and it was pleasing to go with Team Zimbabwe and claim another medal,” he said.
“For this year, my main focus will be on the Africa Games in Morocco,” he said.
While usually a jovial chap, Chamboko’s heart bleeds heavily for the state of table tennis in the country.
“We do not have running leagues, we are solely dependent on provincial tournaments, and the Zimbabwe Open and Zimbabwe Closed tournament are our only big tournaments.
“The prevailing financial challenges have obviously affected the game and there are some corporates and individuals playing for social, but my wish is that we all come together and have proper leagues running,” said Chamboko, who is also part of Zimbabwe Table Tennis technical team.
“In schools, we have managed to be vibrant, which is good, but the hope is that the same can happen at senior club and provincial level across all provinces,” said Chamboko.