… Sportswoman of the Year contender shows her grace, humility
By John Tuerijama
SENIOR women’s hockey captain Magreth Mengo, who has been nominated alongside long-distance runner Helalia Johannes and African and national mountain bike champion Michelle Vorster for the Sportswoman of the Year title at this year’s MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Awards, says that being nominated is already an award on its own.
Mengo, who was instrumental in Namibia’s qualification for the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup, which is slated for Berlin, Germany, from 7 to 11 February next year, told Confidente this week, “Being nominated amongst the top three is already an award on its own, and I feel honoured and privileged. Furthermore, I respect each and every sport personality and I won’t rate my chances against anyone.” Mengo, who works for Standard Bank Namibia and used to play her professional hockey in the Netherlands, is the longest-serving captain of the national women’s hockey team.
She is up against Vorster, who clinched gold at the African Mountain Bike Championship, held in August in Mauritius, and Johannes, who is no stranger to the MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Awards. Johannes has scooped various awards in the past, and came second in this year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
The theme for this year’s MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Awards will be ‘Celebrating our heroes of yesterday and today’.
The glittering event takes place on 27 October at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort.
In an interview with Confidente this week, the soft-spoken Mengo said that it is not as easy wearing the captain’s band for her country, as there was a lot of pressure on the field play.
“The team is on your shoulders; on the field, you are basically the coach, the motivator and the driver. Being the captain in indoor hockey is a big responsibility and it’s very significant. You need to remain focused, and keep the team’s shape and structure, as per the coach’s instructions, and you should be able to read the game, to anticipate the competition’s actions and plans,” Mengo said.Asked about the importance of the annual sport awards, in terms of honouring both amateur and professional athletes, Mengo said that the event is critically important, while adding that the showpiece is a token of appreciation to sportsmen and women, who are excellent ambassadors for their country.“Recognising top performers motivates and encourages the person, and also others that are not yet there, but who want to be there one day,” said Mengo. When asked what her message was for young and upcoming athletes, Mengo said, “They should always work hard and never give up on their dream, goals and vision, irrespective of the challenges they go through.”
The hockey sensation said further that upcoming athletes should at all times believe in themselves, and what they are capable of achieving.
“Everyone has a story to tell and a legacy that they want to leave behind; so go for it. It can be small or big, yet it will be left behind and known that you were there. Nothing comes easy in life, but the effort you put in today will at times not bear fruit now, but after some time, so never give up, but remain humble and respectful,” emphasised Mengo.
The nominees in the other categories for the MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Awards are as follows:
MTC Sportsman of the Year: Lesley !Hoaeb (kickboxing), Julius Indongo (boxing), Jean- Paul Burger (triathlon)
Nampower Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability: Johanna Benson (para athlete) and Lahja Ishitile (para athlete)
Nampower Sportsman of the Year with Disability: Eino Mushila (para athlete), Ananias Shikongo (para athlete) and Johannes Nambala (para athlete)
Nampower Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability: Dian Jansen (para athletic), Kristopher Marunga (para athlete) and Mateus Kambundu (para athlete)
Nampower Junior Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability: Olivia Iyambo (para athlete) and Kertu Kapweya (para athlete)
MTC Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Sadé de Sousa (athletics), Charlize van Zyl (gymnastics) and Heleni Stergiadis (swimming)
MTC Junior Sportsman of the Year: Ivan Danny Geldenhuys (athletics), Delano Muller (kickboxing) and Lance Potgieter (gymnastics)
Tafel Lager Sports Team of the Year: Women’s national hockey team, under-20 rugby team and senior national rugby team
Coach of the Year: Michael Hamukwaya (athletics), Erwin Handura (hockey) and Nestor Tobias (professional boxing)
Umpire of the Year: Oscar Lambert (rugby), Jackson Pavaza (football) and Andrew Louw (cricket)
Development Programme of the Year: Netball Namibia, Namibia Cycling Federation and Field Hockey Programme
Journalist of the Year: Limba Mupetami (Namibian Sun), Otniel Hembapu (New Era), Fillephus Sheehama (Energy 100FM) and Jesse Kauraisa (Namibian Sun)
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015