Cossasa heroes bag scholarships

Masilingi and Mboma rewarded

16 May 2019 | Sports

Sprinting sensation Beatrice Masilingi and long-distance runner Christine Mboma have been awarded scholarships to further their studies at a school that will enhance their athletic talents.

They visited Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo on Tuesday, where the announcement was made.

The two regional athletes scooped a combined six gold medals at this year's Cossasa games that were held recently in Swaziland.

Masilingi scooped gold medals fin the 100m, 200m and 400m, setting records in all three events. She also won gold in the u-17 girls relay event.

Mboma won the 800m and 1 500m and walked away with two gold medals.

Both Masilingi and Mboma will now have the opportunity to further their academic studies at Grootfontein Agri College in Otjozondjupa.

The scholarship is worth N$120 000 per year for one learner, which caters for school fees and hostel accommodation, as well as athletic training costs.

Masilingi was formerly a grade 9 learner at Noordgrens Secondary School in Rundu, while Mboma was a grade 9 learner at Shinyungwe Senior Secondary at Mbwata village.

Masilingi left for Grootfontein Agri College on Tuesday, while Mboma's consent issues were being finalised.

This move was prompted by the lack of proper training facilities in Kavango East.

The entire region does not have a synthetic track, making it difficult for the athletes to develop their skills and further their careers.

Grootfontein Agri College principal Henk Botha said the two athletes will be given the necessary exposure in order to achieve their dreams.

“We are very proud to say that the two athletes will be attending a school where there is a rich culture of athletics. We have the necessary facilities and we put a lot of effort into our athletes,” Botha said.

He said that the two athletes will be exposed to 10 more athletic meets, when compared to the normal schooling system, and that they will be developed so they reach their full potential.

Botha said Masilingi's Cossasa games time of 53.06 for the 400m qualified her for the junior championships that will be hosted in Kenya later this year.

In Mboma's case, Botha said her wins in the 800m and 1 500m races at the Cossasa games mean a lot, as Namibians have found it difficult to win these races in the past.

He said although the two athletes are clocking amazing times that qualify them for senior championships, they will not put under any sort of pressure.

Mbambo said he is very happy with what the two athletes have achieved.

“I am a peacock; proud and honeymoon happy,” Mbambo said.

He encouraged the two athletes to never forget where they come from, adding they should remain positive at all times in order to achieve their dreams.

Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU) national director Shivute Katamba said both athletes are potential Olympic gold medallists.

Katamba thanked Grootfontein Agri College for taking in the two athletes, adding that many young, talented athletes have failed to achieve their dreams because they did not have access to proper trainers and training facilities.

KENYA KAMBOWE