Countdown to African Women’s Champs Begins

With the tn Mobile 9th African Women Championships now just over two weeks away, a press conference was held in Windhoek on Tuesday to launch some of the key elements leading up to the tournament.

The principal consultant of the Local Organising Committee, Isabella !Huri-He Hauses said that numerous projects and campaigns will be launched to get the Namibian population involved in the championship.

“We’ll host an adopt-a-team campaign and would love to see all the schools, uniformed forces, women’s organisations and even embassies adopting a team. Get to know the team – its best players, its culture and history and personify that country,” she said.

“We’ll also hold a Design-a-Flag competition for schools where the best design will win N$5 000,” she added.

The official website of the championship – www.awcnamibia.com – has been launched where the necessary information about the tournament, the competing teams and the sponsors can be obtained.

!Huri-He Hauses said people who would like to register as volunteers for the championship could apply via the website, while merchandise can also be bought online via the website.

“We need volunteers for the tournament so interested people can click on the ‘volunteers’ icon to offer their services. There is a ‘shop’ icon where one can buy merchandise and memorabilia like t-shirts, tog bags, caps and window shields amongst others, which can be ordered and paid for online. We are also speaking to partners and the merchandise will be available in major shops from the end of the month.”

Algeria will be the first team to arrive for the championship when they land in Windhoek this coming Friday. They will play two friendly matches against Namibia – on Tuesday, 30 September at the Independence Stadium and on Saturday, 4 October at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

The second match on 4 October will form part of a ‘Football Bonanza’ which will include numerous events like a kiddies park with a jumping castle, exhibition stands and braais. Some of Namibia’s top artists will perform at the bonanza while the official theme song for the championship will also be performed. Tickets for the football bonanza are N$20 or N$150 for the VIP area.

The championship itself will be free of charge, but !Huri-He Hauses said they were trying to raise funds so that they could offer an incentive for the Brave Gladiators, hence the entrance fee for the Football Bonanza.

During the final week before the championship, radio and television commercials will be intensified, while several outside broadcasts will also be hosted. Members of the public will also have an opportunity to take photos of themselves with the trophy and post them on Facebook.

The tournament will kick off on 11 October when Namibia take on powerhouses Nigeria and !Huri-He Hauses called on Namibians to come in numbers to fill the stadium.

“The opening game between Namibia and Nigeria will be very important – Namibia will be showcased to 300 million viewers across the continent as well as nationally. If we can fill the stadium then we will have succeeded while it will also enhance the Brave Gladiators’ performance,” she said.

The secretary general of the NFA Barry Rukoro called on Namibians to welcome the visiting nations with open arms.

“Now you must be ready to receive the African continent, not only in your own homes but also at the stadiums – share our history and culture with them and make them feel at home.”

Rukoro also thanked the Namibian government which had come on board as a sponsor, as well as the other sponsors, Telecom Namibia, Air Namibia, Namibia Breweries, Scorpion Zinc, Total and Myphone.

On a question regarding the Ebola outbreak, he said they had the situation under control.

“Ebola is a dangerous disease and we appreciate the concerns of all. The LOC is working closely with the health authorities to make sure that it does not happen here. Of the participating countries, Nigeria is the only country that is affected by the disease. So Nigeria is a concern but we are working around the clock to make sure that they don’t transport this to Namibia,” he said.

“We have people on the ground in terms of how to test and there are a whole lot of measures in place. They will be tested in their own countries, but also here in Namibia, before being declared fit to compete,” he added.

Source : The Namibian

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