The Frank Fredericks Foundation (FFF) held a sports day under the umbrella of the Athletics for a Better World Programme in the Babilon informal settlement/shanty town.
A total of 64 young participants from the Babilon, One Nation and Okahandja Park informal settlements gathered at the informal sports fields to showcase their talents following months of hard training.
Six mixed gender teams with team leaders comprising of seasoned national athletes, past scholarship recipients and youth coaches from the surrounding community competed in various athletics relays and 7-a-side football matches.
The participants also had an opportunity to be encouraged during a motivational outreach session led by renowned local sports and youth development expert Manuel ‘Lito’ Carballo.
The highlight of many of the participants was when they had an opportunity to interact with four-time Olympic silver medallist and chairperson of FFF, Frank Fredericks.
“Fredericks is so down to earth. I can’t believe he spent his day taking group selfies and motivating the teams,” remarked one onlooker.
Prior to the event, a participant who felt there was no hope for sport in her community was heard asking her coach why the likes of Fredericks would ever consider reaching out to youth in a forgotten community like Babilon. Remarks of this nature clearly signify the importance and power of sport required to bring about a positive social change in disadvantaged communities.
The event, which was proudly sponsored by Finnish company Wärtsilä, supported by Coca Cola Namibia Bottling Company and Erongomed, had its primary focus on increasing the appetite of athletics in the community, whilst using football to engage the support of the local spectators, including popualr sporting disciplines in the area.
“This is what it is all about. Transforming lifestyles through sport by promoting healthy lifestyles among young people who don’t often have an opportunity to get exposed to sport in their community,” said Fredericks. In the spirit of the competition, all participants received participation medals.
Winners of the floating trophies were:
Gold – Cheetahs led by Coach Immanuel
Silver – Buffalos led by Coach Marshall
Bronze – Leopards led by Coach Ismael
Here are the overall results:
1st – Leopards
2nd – Buffalos
3rd – Cheetahs
4th – Elephants
5th – Lions
6th – Tigers
1st – Cheetahs
2nd – Buffalos
3rd – Leopards
4th – Tigers
5th – Elephants
6th – Lions
Programme participants will later this year vie for top honours when a final graduation ceremony takes place to award individual scholarships to the top performers of the programme. The scholarships go towards the education and sport expenses for the student athletes.