Athletics needs more funding: Beata

REHOBOTH-NAMIBIAN athletes will do better in international competitions with more funding and time for preparation to bring home better results and more medals.

Long distance runner, Beata Naigambo, said this after the annual Rene Kids Centre (RKC) Hardap Championship held in Rehoboth last weekend.

Naigambo said athletes in Namibia are talented enough to be among the top athletes on the continent but are lagging behind due to a lack of funding in athletics.

She said athletics in itself is a career, and should be taken seriously.

“To be a sportsman or woman needs discipline and commitment and with those two characteristics, it won’t be difficult to get someone who can invest in you,” she said.

The three-time Olympian said Namibia has a lot of talent that needs to be nurtured and exposed, but without funding it will only remain a dream.

She applauded the organisers of the RKC Hardap Championship 10km and 21km races for the well-organised event.

“Since the start of the championship, I see improvement each year and other marathon organisers like Old Mutual can learn a thing or two from these people.”

She finished second in the women’s race over 21km.

Mynhardt Kauanivi, who also took part in the Olympics in Brazil in August this year, echoed similar sentiments, saying businesses should invest in athletics to make Namibia one of the powerhouses in road running on the international stage.

“As long as there is no money in athletics the country will not improve and we will be left behind,” he said.

He won the 10km race on Saturday.

Winner of the 21km women’s race, Lavinia Haitope, said athletes need more time for preparation and urged the youth to rise up and be counted as sports people.

“[We need] at least four months so that we can get the necessary preparation,” Haitope said. She encouraged the youth not to hide their talent and to push themselves to the limit if they want a better future.

Haitope qualified for the London World Championships 2017 during the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in September in a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds.  She ended fifth overall in the senior women’s category. – NAMPA

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