After their courtesy call to the office of the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, a strong contingent consisting of the country’s most promising athletes jetted off to Samoa yesterday to represent Namibia at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
The global showpiece will see around 1000 Commonwealth athletes between the age of 14 and 18 from across the world go head-to-head in various disciplines from September 5-11.
The action takes place in the nation’s capital, Apia, across two sporting complexes that will play host to Aquatics (Swimming), Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.
The biggest part of team Namibia is comprised of the Rugby Sevens squad, which will be headed by coach Patrick Ludick. The players are Hans Niehaus, Christiaan Ras, Riaan de Klerk, Armando van Wyk, Rudi Pretorius, Tristan Mouton, Romanzo Lento, Arnando Dentlinger, Popyeni Shikongo, Jan-Harm Cronje, PW Steenkamp and Allistar Miller.
The athletics team consists of Visamuje Ujaha, Siranda Horn (both high jump) and Nico Horn (javelin); Leoni Jansen van Rensburg coaches them.
The swimming team boasts promising swimmers, such as Zanre Oberholzer, Sonja Adelaar and Lushano Lamprecht and will be coached by Ryan Skinner. Meanwhile, Xander Reddig (Archery/Recurve), Lesedi Jacobs (Tennis) and Carel Olivier (Bowls) have been entered individually.
Like the Commonwealth Games, all athletes will be staying in the Athletes’ Village.
Off the field, the Youth Games nurtures new sporting talent and global citizens by focusing on friendship, integrity and cross-Commonwealth intercultural exchange – thus learning and living the Commonwealth Games Federation’s values of humanity, equality and destiny.
The host nation, Samoa, is a small tropical island nation in the Central Pacific, with a young population of 187 000, over half of whom are 25 and under.
Launched in 2000 and now in its fifth edition, the Youth Games provide an opportunity for smaller cities and nations to benefit from hosting a major sporting event, using predominantly pre-existing venues (in Samoa’s case constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games) while also promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda.