”We need to celebrate our sporting heroes”: Nedbank

WINDHOEK; Namibia should celebrate its sporting heroes and heroines, despite limited funding for sports, Nedbank Namibia’s Senior Manager for Marketing and Communications, Gernot de Klerk said on Tuesday.

He made the remark in a speech delivered on his behalf during a media briefing concerning the upcoming Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) event to honour women in sports later this month.

De Klerk said the sporting success of the senior national football team (Brave Warriors) is exactly the reason why the country needs to celebrate its heroes and heroines.

“Despite limited funding, the sheer determination of our sporting heroes has done much to instil national pride, and I am sure we will be equally proud of our national rugby team when they leave for England in a few months time,” said the senior manager.

He was referring to the Brave Warriors winning their first Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup in South Africa on Saturday, as well as Namibia’s national rugby team, which will be in action during the Rugby World Cup in England in September this year.

Nedbank Namibia made a contribution of N.dollars 11 000 towards the NNOC’s event slated for 27 June 2015.

De Klerk noted that the bank’s strongest affinity is cycling through the Nedbank Cycle Challenge hosted every year.

He said that through their support in the sport, they have seen the national cycling teams return with a host of medals from continental cycling events.

“It is our juniors in particular who make us excited about our country’s future, as some of them will become our country’s new sporting heroes within the next few years,” said de Klerk.

Speaking at the same media briefing, NNOC Secretary-General Joan Smit said the aim of their event is to promote and empower women in sports, and honour those who have made major contributions to sports in the country. Another purpose is charity.

She said the NNOC plans to make the event an annual one or even biannual.

The first person to be honoured is former netball player Malie Snyman, 76.

Snyman was an executive board member of the All Namibia Netball Association at the country’s independence.

Smit said Snyman survived a heart attack and is a cancer survivor, but is still active in supporting netball to this day.

Snyman was born on 21 October 1938 in Keetmanshoop and played netball from the age of eight until her retirement at the age of 48.

The NNOC also received assistance of N.dollars 10 000 from Old Mutual Namibia among other sponsors.