Namibia’s 2015 Special Olympics World Games gold medalist, Ruben Gowaseb, is on the verge of further hogging headlines after the veteran marathon runner was nominated for the prestigious African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region-5 inaugural Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA), slated for this Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gowaseb, who brought Namibia a gold medal from last year’s Special Olympics World Games in the USA, has been nominated for the Sportsman of the Year with a Disability award, where he will be contesting against Zimbabwe’s Luck Chitembe and South Africa’s Lucas Sithole.
Also in the nomination lineup is Namibia’s Paralympics multiple medalist, Johanna Benson, who has been nominated in the Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability category, where she will be vying for top honours against the likes of Ilse Hayes from South Africa and Zimbabwean golfer, Dadirai Jack.
Namibia’s most promising cyclist, Tristan de Lange, is also in the mix and has been nominated for the Junior Sportsman of the Year award. He will be facing stiff competition from Botswana’s Baboloki Thebe and Zimbabwean rower, Kyle Hinde. The Namibian newspaper sport reporter Sheefeni Nicodemus has also been nominated in the Journalist of the Year category.
With the introduction of RASA, the region has made a bold statement that it will not celebrate mediocrity. For this inaugural edition of RASA, five of the 10 Region-5 member countries will take part, as they are the only ones currently running awards at national level. These include Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The hosting of RASA will rotate among the member countries in alphabetic order. Members of the Region-5 group include Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.