Namibia gets ready for ANOCA games
In 2010 the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) premiered in Singapore. To adequately prepare their qualified athletes as well as to offer those that have not qualified a platform to do so, numerous African states have stepped up their efforts to create the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) games.
With the 2nd edition of the Youth Olympics coming up next year August in Nanjing, China, African countries will once again compete in the ANOCA games with the Botswana capital, Gaborone, being the host. The event will take place from 22 to 31 May 2014.
Speaking in front of various sports administrators, Joan Smit, Secretary General of the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) took pleasure in announcing that so far five Namibian athletes will be leaving for Botswana. Four of these youngsters received a universality place, a place left open for athletes from under-represented nations regardless of qualifying marks. This is to ensure that every nation will be able to send at least four athletes. Namibian archery, tennis, athletics and gymnastics will be represented via these universality places.
The fifth Namibian athlete is swimming ace Zanre Oberholzer. The 14-year-old managed to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games and ANOCA Youth Games at the world swimming championships in Barcelona earlier this year.
Yet, five Namibians are not enough and Smit therefore urged sports administrators of all sports codes represented at the ANOCA games to put forward the names of their best athletes by the end of October, hoping that they will be given a chance to battle it out in Botswana.
Unfortunately, neither the organising committee in Botswana nor the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could, to this day, give the NNOC the exact qualification criteria for all sports codes that the Namibian athletes would have to achieve, in order to go to Gaborone.
“We see our young athletes rising to the occasion more and more often, and we hope to send a strong, competitive team to Botswana. We ask our sport bodies to give us the names and copies of the passports of the athletes they believe to be strong enough to for the ANOCA games. Once we are given the qualification criteria, we can see who is eligible to go,” Smit said:
Furthermore, Smit announced that the NNOC have submitted scholarship requests to the Olympic Solidarity. If approved, grants will be used for participation in qualification events and preparation for the YOG. Feedback on the Namibian applications should, according to Smit, reach the NNOC in the next two to three weeks.
To make sure that the Namibian team will not only make a good impression in their disciplines on the sports field, Smit also asked sports administers to start designing the team outfit. It should be “cool, sexy and exciting” Smit underlined.
The following eighteen sport disciplines have been enlisted for the ANOCA Youth Games: Athletics,
Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Football, Golf, Judo, Rowing, Rugby 7’s, Swimming, Table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Karate and Netball.
The list will be concluded with two from the following optional sporting disciplines: Triathlon, Fencing, Weightlifting and Wrestling.