Karumendu looks ahead to 2021

The health and safety of athletes has been considered first, following the cancelation of all marathon events by the Erongo Region sport office.

15 July 2020 | Sports

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

WINDHOEK



Erongo Region sport officer Berthold Karumendu has encouraged all athletes to remain hopeful, even after all marathon events have been called-off.

The passionate and prominent race organiser said athletes must continue training and working hard as 2021 will be a year of restoration for long-distance running lovers.

“We had so many events planned, but we had to call them off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This was a difficult decision to make but we were left with no choice as the health and safety of our athletes must always come first.

“Athletes now have time to focus on 2021 and to make sure that they return with a bang,” Karumendu noted.



Engaged stakeholders

It took a number of consultation meetings between stakeholders and the Erongo office before a decision was made.

The regional office had three road races remaining on their calendar before the deadly pandemic hit the country, he said.

“We have been looking into certain aspects, like the current health guidelines or protocol in line with the World Health Organisation and our state of emergency regulations.

“All main stakeholders for the three races have look into the first priority, which is the safety of our athletes,” a statement issued by the office read.



The cancelled races

The second edition of the Spar National 10km Championship was one of the races cancelled this year.

The event, which was only launched last year, was scheduled to take place in Oshakati on 29 August.

Last year, the inaugural Spar Championship attracted 924 athletes from all over the country.

Although Karumendu is from Erongo, he decided to take this event to the north to broaden long-distance running's horizons.

“The race will now only take place on 28 August 2021 in Oshakati as agreed by the sponsors, Oshakati and Ongwediva Spar.”



Navachab Half-Marathon

The seventh edition of the Navachab Half-Marathon (21.1km) Challenge, initially slated for 19 September, was another of cancelled due to the pandemic.

In 2019, the event attracted 586 competitors with QRK Navachab Gold Mine, Nammed, Karibib, First National Bank (FNB), Namagra and Coca Cola as sponsors.

“The race will now only take place on 18 September 2021 in Karibib,” Karumendu said.



Erongo Street Mile

Meanwhile, the popular Erongo Street Mile will now be held on 16 October 2021 in Omaruru.

The event was initially scheduled for 17 October this year at the town.

Shield Namibia/Powersave Wholesale, Pasta Polana, FNB Omaruru Branch and Coca Cola are the sponsors of the competition.

“Last year, we had 1 146 competitors and this event was hailed as a huge success.”

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