Inaugural Athletes Forum slated for Saturday
The Athletes Commission under the auspices of the Namibia National Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association (NNOC-CGA), will host the inaugural Athletes Forum on Saturday at the Namibia University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) Auditorium 1 in Windhoek.
In partnership with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, the Namibia Sports Commission and NUST, this one-day event aims to educate elite and high performance athletes and serves as a platform to gather relevant information on how they can improve at their quest for excellence.
Namibia Athletes Commission’s Chairperson, Gaby Ahrens, said that the initiative is an important platform to address appropriate issues facing athletes and all other high performance related factors. “It is not only aimed at providing information. The aim is also to encourage athletes to become involved in their own development, while understanding their role and that of their coaches in preparation for future international competitions,” added Ahrens.
Athletes will learn about anti-doping rules and regulations at international level, understand the importance of sports psychology, and be introduced to career options available to retired athletes through sport management degrees offered by NUST.
Highlighting and educating on anti-doping is one of the key focus areas of the Athletes Forum. The Forum has noted that often athletes are not aware of what is prohibited; for instance influenza medicine could test positive for banned substances. “The testing procedure can be stressful for the athlete at an event if they are not aware of the constraints. Preparation is therefore essential in order to mitigate and avoid stressful situations,” said Ahrens.
The Bank Windhoek sponsored event will be graced by well-known international and local speakers representing multiple areas of expertise in sports. World renowned Motivational Speaker and Sport Psychologist, Dr Henning Gericke, will highlight the importance of achieving mental toughness during competition. Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry, one of Africa’s most successful Olympic athletes and current Chairperson of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee, will also address the athletes.
Reputable Namibian athletes such as Collin Benjamin, former international and national soccer player; 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists, Helalia Johannes; Jonas Junius Jonas and Double Paralympic Gold Medallist, Ananias Shikongo, will share their personal journeys to sporting success. They will also participate in a question and answer session at the event.
Participants will each receive one of Dr Henning Gericke’s books courtesy of Bank Windhoek. “Sport development makes a positive contributions to both nation building and self-sustainability. Events such as the Athletes Forum are stepping stones to achieving that. We wish the organisers, the athletes and participants the best outcome from this event,” said Bank Windhoek’s Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI), Sponsorship and Events, Sanet de Waal.
Caption: Highly decorated: Chairperson of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry.