The recently concluded South African Toyota Disability Sport Championships in Stellenbosch, South Africa saw Namibian Athletes with Disabilities Win 46 Medals – 32 gold, 11 silver and three bronze medals.
The South Africa Sport Association for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired (SASAPD) national champions took place between 18 to 21 March.
The SASAPD competition was used by Namibian athletes as a qualify for the 2019 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships set for Dubai, United Arab Emirates between 07 and 15 November.
The gold medals were won by elite athletes, Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala, Mateus Angula, Lahja Ishitile, and Reginald Benade.
Upcoming athletes; Silvia Shivolo, Bradley Murere, Dian Jensen, Christopher Marungu, Petrus Karuli, and Alfredo ‘The Bullet’ Bernado, also contributed to the winning of gold medals.
A group of 21 athletes competed in athletics (track and field) and swimming at these championships that where held at the Coetzenburg Athletics Stadium.
Speaking to Nampa after the championship on Thursday, Michael Hamukwaya who is the coach as well as the secretary general of the Namibia Paralympic Committee, said with enough support, this group of athletes can do more.
“We have a group of young athletes who are hungry to perform for their country but this can only happen if we get enough support. Our focus at the moment is the IPC athletics world championships later this year, where we want to defend the medals the medals we won in London in 2017,” he said.
The coach added that for these athletes to defend their medals or win they need to be in camp for at least two to three months so they perfect all the technics.
Hamukwaya added that if the team does not get the needed support from government, they will end up just participating at events instead of competing.
“Paralympics always does well when at competitions but it’s about time the government as well as the corporate world started investing more in these athletes,” he said.