USAKOS - The tiny oasis town of Usakos holed up in the mountainous Erongo Region, came to life during the 4th edition of the annual Sports and Entertainment Festival at the Hakaseb sport field,last weekend.
A total of 35 teams entered the football category with netball attracting 12 teams to the two-day gathering. This year’s tourney proved to be tougher than the previous years in both categories, with unfashionable teams from smaller towns competing fiercely.
Pre-tournament favourites Maroko Boys FC (Usakos), Karibib FC, Soronto Bucks, Dolam Pirates and Western FC (Henties Bay) – all failed to reach the semifinals for the first time in the short history of the popular annual tourney.
Mentored by former Orlando Pirates midfielder Felix Witbooi, Imcor Chiefs triumphed in the football division, dispatching hosts Mighty Stones by three unanswered goals in a one-sided final.
The latter defeated old-time campaigners Kaizer Chiefs from Arandis in the semifinal while Chiefs were conquerors of Pforte FC from farm Pforte in the other semifinal to set up a thrilling clash with home team Mighty Stones.
Bio Gurirab netted an amazing tally of 5 goals during the tourney to claim the prestigious golden boot award, while teammate ‘Moko’ returned the compliment as he walked away with the player of the tournament accolade.
Chiefs overall collected N$14, 500, twenty gold medals and floating trophy – leaving runner-up Mighty Stones to pick up the pieces for a consolation prize of N$7,000.00 and silver medals.
Kuisebmond Eleven Arrows netball team saw off Henties Bay Netball Club in a tightly contested netball final to be crowned champions – pocketing N$5,000 in cash, gold medals and a floating trophy.
The sporting bonanza, co-sponsored by Orano Mining Namibia (formerly known as Areva) and Engen One Stop Usakos service station, in conjunction with various associate sponsors, attracted hordes of high-profile personalities.
Among the attendees were talent scouts, music lovers and entrepreneurs from all corners of the country for an epic weekend of fun, entertainment, marketing and leisure.
This annual gathering was inaugurated in 2015, with the primary aim of providing a stepping stone for talented and aspiring athletes to parade their skills in the hope of being scouted by teams plying their trade in the country’s elite leagues.
It also seeks to create platforms for local vendors and entrepreneurs while doing mutual learning in an effort to improve their socio-economic well-being.
Upcoming musicians are afforded the platform to market their music, connecting with their adoring followers and more importantly, to attract potential investors to Usakos, whilst exploring the town’s potential, and engage and seize opportunities to bring developmental projects to the town, in the process create jobs and boost the life of locals.
“We are really proud to associate ourselves with an event that contributes immensely to the life of people from all over the region and beyond,” said Irene Simeon-Kurtz, sole owner of Engen 1Stop Usakos service station at the prize-giving ceremony.
The immaculately dressed stylish business mogul also applauded all the participating teams and co-sponsors. “This is really beautiful, and we knew from the onset that it is something more meaningful that goes beyond sports. It’s good to know that we continue touching people’s lives and reaching out the best we can.”
“What is more satisfactory, is seeing that people are seizing the opportunity by selling their products and hope to see you back next year,” said a delighted Hilifa Mbako, MD of Orano Mining Namibia.
“I’m taking my hat off for associate sponsors, Erongo Quarry Mining (Jason Gurirab), Erongo Red, FNB, Usakos Town Council, the town’s mayor and CEO Akser Mwafengeyo and Irvin Lombard in their personal capacity as well. The business community of Usakos is greatly appreciated as well in making it all possible,” concluded Simeon-Kurtz.