MTC launches Sport Legends Initiative

Windhoek-On Friday, at the prestigious MTC/Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Sports Awards at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino, Namibia's leading telecommunications giant MTC officially launched the MTC Sport Legends Initiative.

The MTC Sport Legends is a recognition and honorary awards incentive, meant to pay homage to sporting heroes of yesterday and who by their exploits, toil, sweat and performance have managed to put Namibia in good standing in their respective fields.

The initiative is aimed at inculcating a spirit of appreciation, rather than shame and criticism, which is many a time advanced on the country's past sports heroes.

The initiative's first inductees were former footballers, professional boxers, athletics greats, swimmers and rugby and golf legends.

The list of inductees was led by sprint legend Frank Frederick, Luketz Swartbooi, Monica Dahl the trio were part of the first class of Namibian Olympians at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

On the football side, it was former Brave Warriors greats Elifas Shivute, Ronnie Kanalelo arguably the best goal minder ever to grace our shores midfielders Congo Hindjou (now mayor of Okahandja), Ricardo Mannetti, now the second homegrown coach to charge the Brave Warriors successfully to a continental championship, and 2015 Cosafa Champion, Collin Benjamin and Razundara Tjikuzu, the latter being the only two Namibians to have ever played in the tough German Bundesliga for over a decade.

Also inducted were boxing greats led by the legendary Harry 'The Terminator' Simon, Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses, Paulus 'The Rock' Ambunda and Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo, as well as Nestor Tobias, who gained his first ever Springbok colours in 1982.

After retiring from professional boxing, Tobias ventured into promotion, coaching, mentoring and developing to this end he has managed to produce three world champions since 2009. He is also a four-time WBO Africa greatest boxing promoter recipient.

To conclude the list was swimming legend Monica Dahl, a two-time Olympian and the youngest athlete to represent Namibia at the Barcelona Olympics. First ever Namibian professional golfer Trevor Dodds and Para-athlete Johanna Benson were the other inductees.

MTC chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, Tim Ekandjo, said: The history of our beautiful small country on the sporting arena owes patronage to these exceptional individuals, who instead of often celebrating them for their deeds, we often query their achievements. As inductees, these legends will all receive a one-off N$10,000 from MTC and free entrance to all MTC-sponsored events as part of the legends program.

Ekandjo added: They are not only MTC's legends but Namibian legends that belong to all of us. So we encourage others to come on board and show appreciation whether it is through a street name or whatever form. We are all aware that there are so many more pre-independence sporting heroes, and we hope this initiative will provoke the NSC to establish a hall of fame for sport in Namibia.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia