… As Namibian team departs for Commonwealth Youth Games
By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA’S blossoming tennis star, Codie van Schalkwyk, has attended intensive training from International Tennis Federation (ITF) coaches in Rabat, Morocco ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games, scheduled for Nassau in the Bahamas from 19 to 23 July.
Team manager Clive Gawanab told Confidente that the young tennis player will arrive on Friday from Morocco, where he attended training at the ITF Centre.
He said the ITF partially footed the training bill, while Van Schalkwyk’s parents, who are based in Morocco due to work commitments, had also dug into their pockets to pay for his training expenses.
The ITF Centre is where top-notch athletes receive their training, and Van Schalkwyk also has an ITF scholarship.
The young lad will join the team on Sunday, before they depart for the Bahamas via Johannesburg.
Gawanab said that Georgia Moolman, who plays college tennis in the United States, had been training in Bloemfontein, before returning home this week.
Although Moolman has been on a short break, and spent her holiday on the family farm in Aranos, she had also made use of the farm’s tennis court to train.
Gawanab said the duo have a strong tennis background, as their parents are wholly involved, and have been part and parcel of their training programs.
“Sure, it’s not going to be easy in the Bahamas, and as you very well know, tennis is now a competitive sport, and under-18 players are already professionals,” said Gawanab.“It’s going to be tough, but these players are not simply going there to participate, but to compete.” The team manager said they will receive allowances while in the Bahamas, and the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) has paid for all travelling and accommodation expenses.
National athletic coach, Lucky Gawanab, said that although he has not been directly involved with the two tennis players, he is confident of a good showing at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Up-and-coming 400m athlete, Ivan Danny Geldenhuys, who is currently competing at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Under-18 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, will join the team in the Bahamas on 18 July. Gawanab said the athletes’ chances of bringing home medals are very good, although the competition is definitely not going to be easy.
Boxing manager, Gerson Petrus, expressed his disappointment with his charges’ preparations, which he said was not 100 percent. He said the two boxing participants, Sylvinos Tangeni Nampadhi and Tryagain Morning Ndevelo, who are attending Haimbili Haufiku Secondary School, have struggled with their training.
Petrus said that the only assistance they received from the Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) was boxing gloves.
They also received no monetary assistance from the NNOC, government or the business sector. “I really don’t want to say anything negative about anyone, but we maximised our training, with the little we had at our disposal,” said Petrus.
“Despite that, our expectation is not to come back home empty-handed, as we are confident of a positive outcome in the Bahamas,” he said.
The team, which also includes Natalie Louw and Johannes Albertus Smith (athletics) and Charl Pierre du Plooy and Miller Alexander Schuster (cycling), will depart from Hosea Kutako International Airport on Sunday. A day before, they will pay a courtesy call to Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015