Suwilanji Mpondela – Africa’s youngest newly elected Athletes Commission Chair

Suwilanji Theresa Fotwe Mpondela will long remember Saturday 9 March 2019. She made history that day, becoming the first Chair of the Athletes Commission for the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ). She beat other candidates from 15 national sports federations such as swimming, table tennis, basketball and tennis – an incredible accomplishment for a young promising athlete that only turned 19 last month.“My mother taught me that there are no barriers,” she said. “You carry the power regardless of age.” A beneficiary of the IOC Scholarship, she was one of seven out of 100 candidates shortlisted by the organisation for this role. In her new role, Mpondela wants athletes to understand the power of education and to equip them with tools that