WALVIS BAY - A trio of American football experts, Daryl Schwenk, Angela Hucles and Edward Henderson conducted a 2-day football clinic for young footballers at Walvis Bay last week.
The clinic, attended by at least 11 children from the Sunshine Centre, specializing in the rehabilitation of disabled children at the coastal town, was hailed a huge success. Several coaching clinics offered under the theme “Kicking in Healthy Lifestyles” were also conducted in partnership with towns such as Ondangwa and Windhoek by the U.S. Embassy’s Cultural Centre while several games were also played at the Jan Wilken Stadium at Walvis Bay.
Boys and girls at the town, including learners from the Sunshine Centre were blended to form teams to compete against each other. Various school coaches also participated in the clinics.
The programme “Kicking in Healthy Lifestyles” uses sports training to increase awareness about healthy living and making life choices that reduce exposure to HIV/AIDS. Schwenk, a qualified coach who specializes in working with children with disabilities, expressed joy at the enthusiasm shown by learners of the Sunshine Centre, who easily merged with able-bodied learners.
“Sport and soccer to be exact is a universal language that unites many countries through players. Allowing the disabled to engage in activities such as soccer can make them more acceptable among able-bodied children and boost their self-esteem too,” she said.
Angela Hucles is a former United States national soccer team midfielder and was instrumental in her country’s 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Beijing Olympics where America bagged gold medals in both events.
Hucles, said Namibia has the potential to develop women’s soccer if more attention is given to develop the game more aggressively at school level. “If Namibia keeps investing in women’s soccer, I’m sure it would be one of the best football playing nations in Africa.”
The mayor of Walvis Bay Derek Klazen who also attended the opening of the training clinic last Friday and expressed his gratitude toward the American Cultural Centre for conducting the training clinics at Walvis Bay.