Tributes Pour in for Botes

Members of Namibia’s sporting fraternity and business community gathered at Windhoek High School on Wednesday to pay tribute to Quinton-Steele Botes who passed away on 23 June 2014.

Some of the dignitaries present included the president of the Namibia National Olympic Committee, Agnes Tjongarero the president of Athletics Namibia, Alna Similo the national coordinator of the Namibia School Sport Union, Solly Duiker and South African athletics coaches Hugo Badenhorst and Steve Malherbe who flew up especially for the event. Learners of WHS also sat in attendance for the memorial service at WHS’ rugby field, Vegkop.

In the main tribute of the day, Quinton’s son Ibarto read out a tribute by Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob that he had sent to the Botes family.

“It is with shock and sadness that I heard of the passing away of Quinton-Steele Botes. He was a respected person in sport and made a great contribution to athletics in Namibia. He was chairman of Athletics Namibia and a true patriot.

He led Namibians abroad and brought the values that he lived by, of non-racialism and one Namibia, one nation to our young athletes,” he said.

The president of the Namibia National Olympics Committee, Agnes Tjongarero said that Botes was committed to Namibian sport and lived his life according to the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence.

“He touched the lives of many people in our society and he dedicated his life to the empowerment of people and the success of sport in Namibia.

“He ran bravely and finished the race and never gave up, like a true Namibian.

Sport has no boundaries and no colour, it speaks a universal language and this was the message that he lived by,” she said.

The president of Athletics Namibia, Alna Similo said she was one of Botes’ first students at an athletics administration course in 1994 and that they had worked closely together since then.

“He was one of the few to congratulate me when I became the president of Athletics Namibia and I immediately asked him to become a fundraiser for Athletics Namibia. He took that up as well and raised extra funds and equipment for AN,” she said.

“He did a superb job and was globally recognised as a sport administrator. When his 11 students graduated from the Aanced Sport Management Course in May, he had tears in his eyes because his dream had come true,” she said.

The South African high jump coach Hugo Badenhorst said that Botes was a great man who had passion and energy and who could get the best out of his athletes.

“He was a remarkable person. He ran the Quinton Steele Botes Athletics Training and Coaching Course for 21 years and I was there for 11 years and Steve (Malherbe) was there for 16 years. It was always something special for me and when we were done I always looked forward to coming again the following year.”

“He was internationally renowned for his IAAF courses. He never settled for second best and believed that you should do everything to the best of your ability,” he added.

There were also tributes by the principal of WHS, Hawie Engels, and some of the various companies that he represented as a brand ambassador or sponsorship coordinator, like Old Mutual, Marathon Sugar, Tyres 2000, Hyundai, Xco Sport and Bank Windhoek.

Veteran long distance runner Sieglinde Gontes, who spoke on behalf of the athletes, could not contain her emotions.

“He was our larny. When he travelled to Gobabis (for an athletics meeting) he became sick, but he said God was great and we waited with him till he recovered.

I saw he was sick in Oshakati but he told me God is faith. Thank you for this g man we had in athletics, we salute you, Quinton,” she said.

Source : The Namibian