By John Tuerijama
SPECIAL Olympics Namibia’s (SON), seasoned footballer Deon Clarence Namiseb says although the country has made great successes in para athletics over the past 28 years, more ‘football centres for hope’ in the previously disadvantaged rural communities, are needed.
In an interview with Confidente on Namibia’s 28th Independence celebration, Namiseb thanked the current administration for acknowledging the plight of the sports people with disabilities.
Namiseb also gave a thumbs up to country’s leadership for annually increasing the pensioner’s grant as well as the social grants for people with disabilities.
He said people with intellectual disabilities and physical challenges have a ‘constitutional right’ to get involved in sports, for them to be able to represent their country at international sporting competitions.Namiseb, who is also the Global Special Olympics ambassador, noted that there was a further need for the government to ensure that athletes with intellectual disabilities had facilities not just based in towns but also in rural areas.
Namiseb, who in 2007 represented Namibia at the Special Olympic Summer World Games, said the Football for Hope Centre in Katutura needed upgrades and to be fully utilized. He said the centre that was home to the needy children from the surrounding area and beyond had been badly vandalized with no ray of hope for renovations anytime soon. “I am not only talking about the Football for Hope Centre. But, my plea is on the Government through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service to start thinking about building special schools with facilities and guaranteed safety in remote areas.
“There are intellectually challenged athletes who are endowed with talent that can be unearthed and nurtured so they can represent Namibia internationally,” said Namiseb. SON Sports Consultant, Ndeulipulwa Hamutumwa recently described Namiseb, as an athlete who had shown tremendous courage and inspiration to all.
“He has been a figure of hope in his community and in the world, reminding us to believe in ourselves and to never give up.”
Hamutumwa, said that Namiseb, as the Global Special Olympic ambassador had spread awareness about people with intellectual disabilities, and shared his light and inspiration with athletes, celebrities and fans all over the world.
He said Namiseb just like Namibia’s athletic greats, had incredible achievements that had taken him to many places in the world, but had never forgotten his home.
Despite calling on Government’s involvement in the development of Special Olympic sports, the new SON board is set to undertake special familiarization tours to establish the status of SON programs across the 14-political regions.
The main focus of the visits to the regions is to bring Special Olympics programs to each region, and devise strategies to reactivate the programs which are currently inactive, and to ensure
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015