Namibian Team Off to Nanjing

The Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) on Friday officially bid farewell to the team that will compete at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China from 16 to 28 August.

A total of 30 athletes will represent Namibia in the disciplines of soccer (girls), swimming, tennis, athletics, beach volleyball, gymnastics, archery and cycling. They are led by Monica Boumlhm as Chef de Mission.

It is the second time after 2010 in Singapore that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will host the games.

Besides the sporting aspect, education and culture are also key components of the Youth edition and to this end a Culture and Education Program (CEP) will be featured at each Games.

“This is the end of I and the beginning of team. Team Namibia. There is no I in team”, said the president of the NNOC, Agnes Tjongarero at the official send-off event.

Tjongarero urged the youngsters to help each other and to be proud not only of their country, but also of their achievements.

Meanwhile the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo, welcomed back the Namibian athletes that participated at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We are very proud of you”, the minister, who attended almost all the events of Namibia’s sportsmen and women said.

In the same breath, Ekandjo again made it clear, that the participation and the exposure the athletes got in Europe is worth more than medals.

“You (the athletes) have participated and gained something out of these games. You have put Namibia on the map, considering that there were some countries there that didn’t win any silverware,” he continued.

To increase future success, Ekandjo suggested that the Namibian government should invest in a world-class Sport Centre to adequately prepare athletes before they go to events of such magnitude. The centre should be secluded somewhere in the desert to prevent too many distractions taking the focus of the athletes, he said.

He also suggested that physical exercise should become a mandatory subject in Namibian schools in order to identify talents at the youngest age possible. They should then be nurtured to become medal winners.

Source : The Namibian