Namibia will make sporting history this month by becoming the first African country to invite and host Jamaican female speedster Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will be in the country from September 22 to 28.
Fraser-Pryce, who is the current 100 metre world champion and the only women in athletics history to be crowned world champion three times (2009, 2013, 2015) in the 100 metre category, will be in Namibia this month on an eight-day countrywide tour, whereby she aims to inspire upcoming athletes.
Confirming her visit yesterday was Director of Sport in the line ministry, Shivute Katamba, who said the aim of Fraser-Pryce’s visit is to bring hope to aspiring Namibian athletes countrywide, while also putting emphasis on the importance of quality education for athletes.
“She will be here on an eight-day countrywide tour, and will also engage various Cabinet ministers, before heading into the regions to interact with the communities, particularly aspiring disabled and able-bodied young athletes,” Katamba said.
“We will start with Gobabis in the Omaheke Region, where she will visit schools and various athletic clubs in the area. She will address the learners on the importance of sport and education and how they can transform their societies.
“After Omaheke region, we will head to the great Kunene Region, where she will carry out the same activities, before traveling to both Swakopmund and Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region. We really hope this trip will bring a new dimension to our sports and also change the mindset of local athletes.”
“We initially wanted to go for Usain Bolt, but our efforts proved futile as it was very difficult to get hold of the world’s fastest man. But then we thought Jamaica also currently has the world’s fastest female runner, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. So we approached her, shared our idea and she agreed to come. For Namibia to be the first country she visits in Africa is a blessing and a great opportunity,’’ Katamba concluded.
Nicknamed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ for her petite frame, Fraser-Pryce is ranked fourth on the list of the fastest 100 metre female sprinters of all time, with a personal best of 10.7 seconds, set in Kingston, Jamaica in 2012.