…As team jet off to Lilongwe for CANA Zone IV swimming championships
By John Tuerijama
THE national junior swimming team that left for Lilongwe, Malawi early this week, to compete in the African Swimming Confederation (CANA) ZONE IV Championships expressed confidence on bringing medals home from the showdown.
The youthful Namibian swimming team is determined to upset their fierce competitors like South Africa and Zimbabwe to be crowned the 2018 CANA ZONE IV champions at the event scheduled for 21 to 24 March.
Namibia is rated as the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s second best swimming country, from South Africa.
Upon being presented with national colours and a code of conduct at the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) on Monday, Chief Administrator of the Commission, Freddy Mwiya lauded the Namibia Swimming Union (NSU) for having a competitive urge in regional and continental swimming competitions.
Mwiya said the Namibian Swimming Union had over the years done extremely well, in the Region 5 Games while keeping their eyes on the future All Africa Games.
“Swimming is one of the few sport codes that are really doing well, and we hope that soon we will have representation at the 2020 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo, Japan,” he said.
The NSC Chief Administrator, however, warned the young swimmers on unruly behaviour that would tarnish the image of the country adding that no athlete was supposed to be left in Lilongwe because of unruly behaviour.
He took note of the ongoing court case of an alleged rape case in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where a Namibian amateur boxer stands accused of an alleged rape case, committed during the 2016 Olympic Games.
“Do not go there and become individuals but instead be a unit and a team player, because while you are in Malawi, you are representing the country and not individual selves.”
Mwiya said that unity was very important for a national team no matter the athlete’s economic or social background as they all belonged to one national team.
He also implored upon the team officials and swimmers to uphold uniformity by dressing the same when attending events while in Malawi.
Junior National swimming team, Head Coach Michael Jean Leitner said it was an honour to be entrusted with the preparation of the team for the CANA ZONE IV Swimming Championships.
Leitner expressed confidence for a good showing in Malawi, while team manager, Bernd Michael Esslinger, said his swimmers were disciplined, and had demonstrated their capabilities thus far.
“It is going to be a very tough competition in Malawi. But, I am confident these swimmers will bring home medals as our aim is to bring home the trophies. I know that not all of our athletes will win medals but they will grow as athletes by participating in the event,” stressed Esslinger.
The junior national swimmers, who at the national colour presentation were accompanied by their visibly excited parents, had their parents reaffirming their commitment and dedication to helping them become the best swimmers regionally and on the continent.
Tanja Weber, mother to Zune Weber, said despite forking out N$15 000 for her child to compete, she was nonetheless happy that parents within the swimming fraternity were united in ensuring that their children became success stories in their swimming quest.“We have to wake up as early as 04h00, to take them to their swimming training sessions though tiring we are committed to our children,” she said.
Mwiya further said that Government did not fund for primary events but did financially cover athletes representing the country either at the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games.
As for the Region 5 Games scheduled in Gaborone, Botswana later this year where the national swimming team is anticipated to take part, Mwiya said, “Government through the Sport Commission will give out N$10 000 for the preparation phase while N$5 000 will go towards the athlete’s pocket money.” Countries expected to compete at the CANA ZONE IV Swimming Championships include Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Following is the Namibian team: Murphy Hannah Margaret, Nico Esslinger, Naukosho Ariana Iyaloo, Bermudez Horsten, Ju-Ane Oberholzer, Mathias Christiaan Liebenberg, Betts Maximillian William, Lo Roux Corne, Zune Weber, Trisha Mutumbulua, Johannesson Jureck. Coach- Jean Michael Leitner. Team Manager- Bernd Michael Esslinger.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015