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The Zambian elite swimmer and equality advocate, Tilka Paljk has joined the equality-in-sport charity, equitysport as an athlete ambassador.

Tilka Paljk, who has competed in multiple World Championships, African Games and Commonwealth Games for Zambia, is part of a growing community of African swimmers redefining what the sport looks like on the global stage.

Paljk is a longstanding advocate for socioeconomic, gender and racial equality across global sport, and with lived experience of the unique challenges faced by sportspeople in Southern Africa, brings a wealth of insight to the equitysport mission.

Tim Harper, Founder and Chief Executive at equitysport said of the announcement:

“Ask anyone about African swimming and you’re probably going to hear about Eric Moussambani Malonga, aka ‘Eric the Eel’, a man made into a novelty by the Western media at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

We never asked any serious questions as to why Eric hadn’t seen a 50m pool before taking his place on the blocks in Sydney or why we so readily accept such a racially and ethnically homogenous sport; instead we laughed, celebrated Eric’s ‘spirit’, clapped the dominance of the traditionally powerful and moved on.

For us, Tilka Paljk represents the very best of the next generation of African swimmers; successful, fearlessly outspoken, and actively seeking ways to change sport at every level for the better. Unafraid and unabashed, undeterred by legions of armchair critics, Tilka is standing up for a fairer, more equitable sporting ecosystem for everyone and we’re just delighted to have her join us!”

Tilka Paljk added:

“I want to leave my sport in a better place than where I found it so that the next generation of African swimmers can reach even greater heights, that means more opportunities and better opportunities, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

“Equality and diversity are all the rage right now, but they can’t be a fashion or a trend because fashions and trends die out - I hope that by working with equitysport I can turn a groundswell of support for these values into action!”

Be sure to be following equitysport on social media for extracts from an interview between Amber Stobbs, equitysport’s longest standing ambassador and professional footballer, and Tilka, which will be released over the coming days.

In the meantime, give Tilka a follow and say hello via Instagram.


equitysport is a UK-registered charity (1189559) that exists to advance and promote equality, diversity and equal opportunity in and through global sport. Through free-form development, targeted advocacy, vocational training and education programmes the charity seeks an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives up to the true values of sport.

Notes to Editors

For interviews or further comment, please contact the team via:

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