Benson Says Doha Goals International Forum Was Worthwhile

Namibia’s most decorated Para-athlete, Johanna Benson says she is humbled and honored to have represent Namibia at the just-ended Doha GOALS International Forum in Qatar.

Benson, who was one of the guest speakers at the Forum, was invited to deliver a motivational speech focusing on the aancement of social and economic change through sport. The Forum, running in its 3rd year was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.

“I was my first time to deliver a speech in front of so many people and not just people, but very influential in the world of sports and I think handled it very well. I am really honoured and humbled to have represented my country and the Paralympics fraternity at such a big stage, it was really an experience worth cherishing,” said Benson who added that she had a chance to rub shoulders with Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown amongst others.

“The forum was attended by so many leaders in sports from across the world, some I even met for the very first time and it felt like I have known them all along. The people were very friendly and I learnt a lot as well, I’m looking forward to such opportunities because it is good for such athletes,”

The Forum also took stock of various initiatives to determine how best to implement projects at national and community levels as well as launch new programmes. The Doha GOALS Forum invited about 400 students from across the globe to engage with the forum as part of Student Ambassadors programme.

The Global Watch initiative was also introduced. Global Watch is an international effort to eradicate racism and discrimination from the field and playground, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Tokyo Sexwale Foundation.

Last year, the Doha GOALS Forum was attended by 1 500 participants from 70 countries with 150 speakers and 30 sports champions. Past gatherings included prominent speakers such as former Presidents of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gabon, Ali Bongo, FIFA Sepp Blatter, and Olympic medalists Lord Sebastian Coe, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Mark Spitz, Hicham El Guerrouj, Marie Jose Perez and Nadia Comaneci.

This year saw tennis legend Boris Becker, Wilson Kipketer, Tegla Loroupe and Jonathan Edwards all in attendance, among other stars.

Source : New Era