Desert Dash 2019 officially launched

The 20th edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash was officially launched here on Monday with organizers saying over 1 000 athletes have registered to take part in the event which kicks off in Windhoek on Friday 06 and ends 24 hours later on Saturday 07th December in Swakopmund.

The cyclist will ride 373 kilometers from Windhoek to Swakopmund over a period of 24 hours through the desert.

Speaking at the launch, Nedbank Namibia's Chief Financial Officer JG van Graan said this year's event has attracted cyclists from Russia, Finland, Belgium, Canada, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Britain, Germany, South Africa, and eSwatini.

These international riders contribute 40 percent of the total number of riders, while Namibian is represented by 60 percent. For the sole rider's category, we have 240 entries, with just about 30 of them being women, he said.

The cyclist will compete as individuals, two-man teams, four-man teams, and mixed two-man teams.

Van Graan added that once again this year, there will be cyclist who will participate in the race for charity, and as sponsors, they had seen it fit to pay their entrance fees.

This year we will support teams who will be doing this for a good cause. These teams include the Dagbreek School, Legacy of Love and the Lithon Foundation. It is our wish that the Nedbank Desert Dash provides them a platform to raise awareness for their respective causes, he explained.

His views were echoed by the Mayor of Swakopmund Mayor Paulina Nashilundo who welcomed the launch outside of Windhoek for the first time saying the municipality will always support events that develop the country.

Sport is a universal language that engages people and communities around the world. It has the ability to bring cultures together and promote positive messages of peace and understanding. It has the power to motivate people to make positive changes in their own lives and those of others, she said.

She explained that sporting gatherings such as the Nedbank Desert Dash build bilateral agreements and relations amongst nations.

Konny Looser from Switzerland and Rebecca Robisch from Germany are the three-time defending champions of the event, having won it in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Source: Namibia Press Agency