Women In Sport: 3 - Meet Tilka Paljk a Zambian female swimmer.

Tilka Paljk is a 21-year-old Zambian (born in Slovenia) female swimmer. She is set to represent Zambia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Her latest participation in a competition was in the women's 100-metres breaststroke event at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.

Pajik started her career at the age of 11, and she was not always just a swimmer. In the early stages of her life, Pajik was a hockey player, a basketballer, swimmer and participated in many other sports disciplines.

"I started my career at 11 years, and my first trip for Zambia was to Zimbabwe, Where I competed only in the 50 Mts breaststroke, and I came out second. That was when I realised I was good at swimming, something I previously did know about. That was a door opener for me," Pajik told IMF sports weekly in an exclusive interview.

The 21-year-old has participated in all the swimming events that Zambia has to offer. She has also taken part in many international events like the 2013,2015 2016 and 2017 World Championships. 

The talented swimming sensation holds Zambia's records in 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke. Pajik who finished her high school last year is currently training in the United States of America.

The vocal Pajik believes Zambian women in sport need more independence. She thinks women are more than what society makes them feel they are and can do great things.

"Women in Zambia should follow what they want to do in life. Zambia still has the perception that women are only good for bearing children, cleaning and doing all sorts of house chores but they are more than that. Women are much stronger than men and don't need men to better their lives all they need is themselves," she said.

Tilka Paljk

Tilka Pajik Wins for Zambia

"Being a woman who is doing sport in Zambia means, we get a lot more recognition than men. People will be like, she is doing sport wow that's cool, she must be strong. The downside is that the government would rather fund men than women, and generally people look down on us," she added

She was voted Zambian sportsperson of the year in 2013. Her most memorable meet was the region 5 games in 2012 when she was just 15 years old, She won the first medal for Zambia which was a bronze in the 50meters breaststroke.

According to her when the South African national anthem was played, all the Zambian supporters sang the Zambian national anthem instead.

Follow Tilka Paljik on Instagram: Click Here
This story was originally posted on the IMF Sports Weekly Blog. 



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