Twenty-three athletes, one guide and six coaches were recognised for their hard work throughout the 2023 season at the Disability Sports Namibia (DSN) awards in Windhoek over the weekend.
The athletes received N.dollars 1 000 while coaches received N.dollars 1 500 for athletics, football, netball, cycling, boccia, archery, powerlifting and swimming during the 11th edition of the awards.
Sports Director in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jo-Ann Manuel who delivered a speech on behalf of the minister said people with disabilities in developing countries face major barriers that limit their participation in sports and other physical activities, but the Namibian Government is committed to enabling them to compete in sport.
‘We are proud to know that the investment made available to DSN in grants every year yielded results as we have witnessed in recent achievements by Namibia on the world stage,’ she said.
Manuel added that the athletes’ sacrifices, self-determination, perseverance and res
ilience against all odds should be considered, while the roles of coaches, administrators, teachers and family members who support the athletes should also be acknowledged.
‘With these awards we not only honour you, but we express our heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for making the conscious decision to participate in your respective codes, grab the opportunities afforded to you, put in the hours of training and sacrifice, become accustomed to a healthy lifestyle and have the self-confidence and determination to compete,’ she said.
Several athletes from the Namibia Paralympic Committee were recognised for their outstanding achievements – Martha Nengolo (athletics field events), Jan-Lotz du Toit (archery), Prince Namundjebo (boccia), Gabriel Nghishililwa, Mateus Kambudu and David Haluteni (cycling), Keila de Oliveira and Mateus Angula (swimming) Kamenye Kapuma (para powerlifting), and Jeromuis Rooi (para-triathlon).
Special Olympics athletes who received recognition are Rodney Stewe and Vitjituaije Ma
ster in cycling, Louise Popyeni Sagaria and Fimanekeni Pombili in athletics, and Pepua Kambueza, Munoawa Haita, and Nganda Tjakuva in basketball.
Meanwhile, Ananias Gabriel, Santos Antonio and Felicity van der Heveer were recognised for their leadership skills.
The Deaf Association saw Thuhafeni Shihwameni and Erickson Mwanyanga recognised in football, Hilma Nangombe and Letisia Mateus in netball, Uakusana Tembo and Lesley Kateme in athletics.
Coaches Lucky Ikechukwu and Naomi Schmidt were acknowledged for the Paralympics, while Jeremia Kavandje and Wellem Engelbrecht from Special Olympics also received recognition alongside Edgar Maharero and Ndinomukulili Shamalia from DSN.
NamPower, who has supported DSN for 11 years, received a Shield of Excellence award. The MVA Fund received an appreciation award.