Goagoseb dreams of competing in Paralympic Games

Riwaldo Goagoseb, the guide of T11 sprinter Chris Kinda, says his dream is to one day rub shoulders with the crème de la crème in the T11 100 metre (m) and 400m sprints.

Goagoseb, a sprinter himself, says he has committed all his time to guide as he has a dream of representing Namibia with Kinda at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Para Athletics Championships or Paralympic Games.

The sprinter said his dream is not impossible if he works hard at all the goals they have set for themselves.

“I became an athlete when I joined the Namib Lions Athletics Club through the recommendation of a friend, Michael Kawiwi. Despite joining the club as an athlete, I was soon introduced to guiding by coach Michael Hamukwaya, and I have never looked back,” said Goagoseb.

Goagoseb has previously competed at the Fazza International Championships Dubai Grand Prix and the Marrakech Grand Prix in Morocco and said qualifying for the World Para Athletics Championships and the Paralympic Games would make him happy.

“We need to work hard if we are to realise that dream. Going to the world championships will be difficult, but if we work hard and mentally prepare well with our coach, we will qualify for these games,” he said.

The athlete, currently being coached by Henk Botha, stated that to be the best in the world, they have to compete with the best in their category.

“We want to experience the intense competition amongst the world’s best as Ananias Shikongo, one of the best in the world, has been doing,” Goagoseb said, adding that he is enjoying his role as a guide because it’s in his nature to help people, but the job comes with its up and downs.

“Guiding is not an easy job as visually impaired people are sometimes difficult, but I have learned how to balance this. The good part of what I am doing is the exposure I get to see the world and learn from the different cultures,” he said.

He added that winning a bronze medal in the 100m and 400m at the 2022 Dubai Grand Prix was a good stepping stone, which they want to emulate at upcoming championships.

Michael Hamukwaya, the secretary-general of the Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC), told this agency on Monday that guides are a crucial part of the visually impaired athletes.

“We are happy to be working well with Athletics Namibia but what I wish should be introduced is for these clubs to start having athletes with a disability in their clubs,” he said, noting that a guide is an athlete’s eyes. They are crucial for T11 and T12 athletes.

“If you look at T11 athletes, these guys are completely blind while the T12 can partially see light. That is why we must start introducing guidance in people’s lives even at the community level so that by the time they become professionals they are used to the system,” Hamukwaya said.

The NPC secretary-general added that visually impaired people are prevented from partaking in sports because they don’t have guides, and the NPC tried recruiting guides and it has not worked as planned as some people quit the job after pressure from people when seen holding hands while crossing the streets or walking in town or their communities.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency