RUGBY is a team sport, regardless of how talented you are, you still need your teammates for you to succeed, says Israel Kalumba.
Kakumba started his rugby career at Nchanga Rugby Club in 2007 in the developmental side under coaches Hugo Chisenga, Patrick Musonda and Chiluba Kangwa.
His interest in rugby developed after watching an international match between Zambia and Cameroon played in Chingola in 2003.
His stay in the B team was shortlived as he featured for the senior team a year later in a game against Diggers Rugby Club in Kitwe.
According to Zambia Rugby Union communications manager Tom Chaloba, his stamina and hunger for the ball caught the attention of Lusaka Powerhouse Rugby Club who got him on a transfer deal which saw him play there for five years.
Kalumba was part of the under 19 team that played Zimbabwe in 2011 and made his senior national team debut in the 2012 Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) qualifiers in Gaborone, Botswana.
Some of his favourite moments so far include playing against the All Blacks 7s at the 2018 Gold Coast Games in Australia, being appointed captain of the Zambia 7s National Team, playing for SA All Stars Academy at the 2018 Dubai 7s, Winning the 2019 Rugby League and more importantly, marrying the love of his life Milambo Lewanika.
Kalumba, whose role model is Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks, believes nothing good comes easy.
“I always put in my best in everything I do. My coaches and teammates expect the best out of me and I strive not to disappoint myself and those around me,” he says.
He adds that he is lucky and blessed to play for a team of hard workers at Red Arrows Rugby Club.
“Discipline and hard work will open doors of opportunities that would otherwise remain closed. Rugby is a team sport. Regardless of how talented you are, you still need your teammates for you to succeed,” he says.
Kalumba is part of the Zambia national team currently in camp for the upcoming Victoria Cup game against Kenya set for Diggers Rugby Club in Kitwe on July 27.