By Mulenga Chapoloko
Basketball on the Copperbelt has started opening up slowly after the 2020 season was ravaged by Covid-19.
No basketball activity took place on the 2020 calendar until administrators resolved to hold the recent Copperbelt Basketball Association pilot tournament under the new normal.
The tournament saw the association allow a restricted number of fans during games played from November to December in Chingola, Kitwe, Luanshya and Kalulushi.
Lunga Bullets were eventually crowned champions of the tournament after beating Mufulira Magnets 50-47 in the final played in Kalulushi at the weekend.
Copperbelt Basketball Association President Andrew Nyirenda has hailed the pilot tournament held in readiness for the 2021 full season as a success.
Nyirenda believes the association is now ready to stage the 2021 season in full in the new normal.
“We had a very successful tournament. We saw a number of teams coming on board and there was stiff competition among players,” Nyirenda said.
“These activities are being held to keep players fit ahead of the 2021 season. As you know the league and other competitions were cancelled because of covid-19,” he added.
Nyirenda is already looking forward to the 2021 season as he hopes for better fortunes in the New Year.
“The main league games under the new normal will resume in April 2021. We are also looking at supporting clubs next year,” the Copperbelt basketball boss said.
Covid-19 impacted negatively on sports activities globally when it spread like wildfire in the first quarter of this year.
This was evidenced by the rescheduling of the much anticipated 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan to 2021.
On the local sports front, the Government through the Ministry of Health halted all sports activities as it banned public gatherings in order to reduce the spread of covid-19.