WINDHOEK - Various coaches from regions such as Kavango East, Oshana and Oshikoto have applauded the Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) for hosting a successful Athletics National Championship at the Windhoek’s Independence Stadium over the weekend, saying it has become a vital platform for the development of local para-athletes.
The competition, which took place over the weekend, saw more than 100 athletes with disability compete in the 200m race and in the shot put event.
Speaking to New Era Sport on Saturday on the sidelines of the championships, Kavango East regional coach Mbango Stephanus expressed satisfaction with the standard of competition witnessed over the weekend.
Stephanus said that despite the regional championships being held in their respective regions, he still believes national competitions play a major role in uplifting and giving athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent, as all regions depend heavily on the national championship to give athletes much needed exposure and hopefully get selected for the national team.
He added that at the moment, regions are not able to host regional competitions due to lack of finance, so for now, most if not all regions focus more on the national competitions.
“For me, I think this is a very big event and one that is very important for our athletes. The competition helps expose these young talented individuals to the nation and get scouted for the national teams. There might be regional competitions at times but for now regions are not able to host them as a result of lack of funds,” said Stephanus.
Meanwhile, Oshana regional coach Julius Hauwanga pointed out that the competition have in the past helped many of this special group of athletes engaged in sport. “Since the beginning of this competition, we’ve managed to get a number of athletes into different sport codes, which I think is a big step. When we started we had less than five athletes but look at the number that has joined us, it’s a big change,” said a satisfied Hauwanga.
His colleague from the vast Oshikoto Region Jeremia Hambia added that the national championship remains the bridge serving and connecting local talent with the outside world.
“This platform has remain the passage to the next level, look at athletes like Ananias Shikongo, it’s because of this competitions that gave him a chance to showcase his talent on bigger stages like at the Olympics and World Championships. I still believe that the more this competition consistently happen, we are likely to have better athletes to represent the country at the bigger stage. For me, this competition is the place to help young talents develop their skills,” added Hambia.
Khomas Region dominated proceedings, followed by Erongo and Ohangwena, Omusati, Hardap, Kavango East, Oshana, //Kharas and Oshikoto.
2019-09-24 08:06:18 8 months ago