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Athletes throng to 30th Quinton-Steele Botes Athletics Coaching and Training Clinic

Athletes throng to 30th Quinton-Steele Botes Athletics Coaching and Training Clinic

The four-day Quinton-Steele Botes Athletics Coaching and Training Clinic to boost the national athletics community kicked off this week in Windhoek.

The training camp, which runs from 9 to 12 January was established in 1993 by the late Namibian athletics administrator, Quinton-Steele Botes who died in 2014.

The camp focuses on ground principles of all athletics events, including sprints, hurdles, throw, high and long jump.

In its 30th year, the camp drew nearly 300 aspirant athletes, trained by three coaches from South Africa, one from the Netherlands, and ten from Namibia.

The athletes are clustered into three age groups: the kids’ athletics program for six to ten-year-olds, the primary and intermediate programme, and the high school and seniors programme.

“The core aim is to groom young talent by exposing them to all the events in which they will learn all necessary aspects and techniques to find their main event when older,” said Leoni van Rensburg, organizer of the skills camp.

The world-class coaches also offered specialization courses in sprints, hurdles, middle and long distance, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot-put, javelin, hammer, and discuss under the high school and seniors programme.

In addition to skills development, the training aimed to build confidence in young people in their prime.

“Platforms such as this are also an opportune time to instill discipline and spirit of teamwork in children. Moreover, to scout for young talent and develop it further,” said JJ Smith, a world athletics level five qualified coach from South Africa.

Meanwhile, Joan Smit, Secretary General of the Namibia National Olympic Committee, said the training presents an opportunity to enhance Namibia’s representation and performance in major international competitions. These include the upcoming African Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, and the Youth Olympic Games in 2026.

“The skills are also fundamental in progressing themselves to adapt to modern demands of athletics, which Namibia requires to increase the number of people winning at the international stages,” Smit concluded. (Xinhua)


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