…as team gears up for Berlin grand prix
By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIAN para-athletes look set to conclude 2018 in style after they showed determination to bring home medals from the Para-Athletics Grand Prix penciled for 30 June to 2 July, in Berlin, Germany.
Coach Michael Hamukwaya told Confidente that the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) had started in earnest with the Road to Tokyo 2020 campaign. “In preparation for the games the NPC made contact with a young dynamic lady from the Netherlands Elisa Ostet who, through her contacts and in conjunction with Sport on the Move Foundation, connected us with different sport organisations in a town in the east of the Netherlands, Enschede,” said Hamukwaya.
The Namibia Paralympic Committee was given the possibility to train and use the facilities in the Netherlands free of charge, in preparation for the Para-Athletics Grand Prix in Germany.
The Namibia Paralympic elite team consisting of sprinter Ananias Shikongo, his guide runner Even Tjiviju, para-athlete Johannes Nambala and coach Michael Hamukwaya were based in Enschede, where they trained at athletics Club Action from 17 to 25 June. While in the Netherlands the team also visited the national Olympic training center in Papendal to train with Dutch paralympic athletes.
The elite team had another training stint at the high performance center, Trifora sport and health club, with personal trainer Leon Stevense on the morning of 21 June. The athletes later took part in a local competition of the FBK sport club where they won the races.
Shikongo and guide clocked 11:51 seconds in 100m, while Nambala ran the 400m in a time of 50:64 seconds and came first in a 100m race where he clocked 11:13 seconds.
Hamukwaya said the main aim of this exercise was to build new partnerships with international sport institutions where the athletes could benefit through high performance preparation in the future and especially in preparation for Tokyo 2020.
“This will also open many doors for our athletes to the world as we have managed to form partnerships with some of the sport institutions over here and even the possibilities to create exchange programmes between the two countries through the Paralympic sports,” stated the coach.
The second group of the team, consisting mainly of the new young athletes, joined the elite team in Berlin early this week.
“This team consist of seven young para-athletes whom the NPC has identified and were never classified before as this will present an opportunity for the them to get international classification in Berlin in preparation for the upcoming major championships such as the 2019 All African Game scheduled for Kenya and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Qatar and Tokyo2020 Paralympic Games,” said Hamukwaya.
Hamukwaya said with all these preparations the NPC still faces many challenges, including not being able to pay coaching fees for the national coach, transportation for athletes to and from training, purchase of strength training equipment, sport clothing and nutritional needs for the elite athletes at home.
“We are appealing to any sport loving Namibian and corporate world at large to support this team financially or in kind towards the preparation of these important upcoming events.
It will give an opportunity and unique way of worldwide marketing for Namibia at the highest level through sport,” stressed the head coach.
Hamukwaya said a combination of a new team to the IPC athletic grand prix will be good for Namibia as the young athletes will be given an opportunity to graduate to the elite team.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015