By Carlos Kambaekwa
As has become customary practice prior to the quadrennial Summer Olympics worldwide over the past 21 years, the National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is also to host the “Olympic Day Run” in four different towns around the country, on the 21st of this month.
This particular event is part and parcel of the International Olympic Committee’s programme “Sport for All” aimed at encouraging people from all walks of life to become part of the Olympic Movement around the globe, and also seeks to realize the Olympic ideal which states that sport is a right belonging to all individuals, transcending racial and class differences.
The primary togetherness of the Olympic Movement is to pursue the promotion of health, fitness, well-being and socialization, amongst others.
The towns of Keetmanshoop, Okahandja, Omaruru and Tsumeb will play host to this historic event and each runner will become the proud recipient of a certificate signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge, upon completion of the 10-kilometer race.
In January 1948 at its 42nd Session in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, the IOC approved the idea of an Olympic Day as a token of commemorating the creation of the IOC, which took place on the 23rd of June in the French capital, Paris way back in 1894.
The Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee (NNOC) Abner “Big Daddy” Xoagub said: “Our future participation in the Olympics is being challenged by our ignorance of the critical essence of this particular event and the actual role of sport in our global village.”
The bulky veteran sport administrator who initially cut his teeth in the rigours of sport with the now defunct Sorento Bucs Football Club in the eighties, says the primary objective of the 2008 Olympic Day Run is to promote Olympiads and celebrate humanity.
“We would like to encourage active participation of all school-going children and school leavers, including students from tertiary institutions as well as civil servants and parents to participate in the Olympic Day Run.”
The event will cover a distance of 10 kilometers and three to four athletes are eligible to team up in a relay with each one expected to cover a minimum distance of two kilometers.
According to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2008 Olympic Day Run – several other sporting and cultural activities will be part of the proceedings, while trees already planted by the NOC will be painted and additional trees will be planted as part of the NNOC’s “Greening the Earth Campaign”.
The NNOC says it plans to have 1000 trees planted at various schools and sports centres catering for Olympic disciplines countrywide by the year 2010, as trees symbolize the Olympic Movement.
Namibia Beverages, under its Coca Cola brand, will be sponsoring the event with an undisclosed amount for the umpteenth time.