Commission educates athletes and federations

Windhoek: Namibia’s Athletes Commission (NAC), led by Olympian shottist Gaby Ahrens, is increasing its activities in its quest to assist athletes across the country. It hosted its first-ever workshop at Olympic House in Windhoek recently.

The Commission represents the rights and interests of athletes and makes recommendations to the National Olympic Committee (NNOC) and Namibian Sports Commission (NSC).

The ultimate aim of the gathering was to provide athletes and their respective federations with a broad spectrum of information, which they were requested to share with their associations and athletes alike. “It was the first of its kind in local sports and the feedback was very positive”, Ahrens said after the event, which attracted 15 participants.

Lesley Vermeulen, a veteran lawns bowls player addressed participants about pertinent issues, such as conflict management, something she is confronted with on an almost daily basis.

The topics included advice on the various conflicts than can occur between athletes, federations and coaches, stressing the fact that conflict is not always negative, but also provides opportunities to improve.

Heiko Diehl, MD of Proactive Sports Marketing and Management – and holder of a MEMOS degree in sports organisation management – introduced the IOC’s Athlete Learning website The site links athletes and coaches to interesting topics and free courses offered by various universities online.

Another highlight of the workshop was the burning topic of doping, with Jason Snyders from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stressing the importance of educating athletes on the dangers of doping, lists of prohibited substances worldwide and the required procedures that athletes need to be acquainted with before stepping onto the international arena.

Meanwhile, CAN is planning another workshop later this year – on a yet to be decided date – where issues such as misconduct, setting a good example and ADAMS registration for WADA will be discussed.

Interested athletes are invited to enter (5 athletes per association/federation, including their representatives). Interested parties are requested to contact Gaby Ahrens at or 0812723438. Information can also be attained from the NNOC’s website –