Old Mutual honours Johannes

The accolades just keep rolling in for Helalia Johannes.

31 October 2018 | Sports

Namibia's queen of road running, Helalia Johannes, was honoured with a poster highlighting all her achievements from 2003 to 2018, as well a N$15 000 bursary yesterday at the Old Mutual Victory Race series prize-giving ceremony in Windhoek.

Helalia Johannes, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in July, is a frequent participator in the Old Mutual running series and her honouring comes after she scooped the Sportswomen of the Year award at the 2018 Namibia Sports Awards, which was held in Swakopmund this past Saturday.

Old Mutual Group CEO, Kosmas Egumbo, said in a statement the series was introduced by the Old Mutual Foundation in 2000 to facilitate positive change, in the form of physical and psychological benefits for communities.

“The race has attracted well-known Namibian athletes over the 18 years, such as the likes of Luketz Swartbooi, Reynold Ita, Willem Rooi, Elizabeth Mongudhi, with old-timers such as Simon Paulus, Rodengudus Gustaf and Johannes Skrywer, who were early beneficiaries of the sport bursary scheme.

“Therefore, today marks a wonderful significant milestone, as we celebrate the greatest achievements of a disciplined marathon runner who has made the race series a training ground since 2003,” Egumbo said.

Ndangi Katoma, marketing transformation and customer strategy executive at Old Mutual, said that Johannes' story of growth and success is embedded in the opportunities she took as a junior runner.

“This leaves us with a strong message that the time is now to take the first step to be your exceptional best in everything you are doing, to realise your potential.”

Katoma also recognised very important and influential people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure community development through sport.

“These include not only our athletes, but equally important sport managers, coaches, agents, paramedics, dieticians, doctors, reporters, race directors, commentators and all those responsible for sports news,” he said.

Erwin Naimwaka, president of Athletics Namibia, said this year has been a very good and successful for Namibian athletes.

“Despite challenges, our athletes have managed to produce results both nationally, regionally, continentally and internationally at various levels.

“The Victory Races form the backbone of our athletics calendar and fixtures, and offers attracting incentives to our athletes, who push themselves and set new standards,” he said.

He added that Johannes' journey in terms of international participation started with Old Mutual.

“After winning the Victory Races locally in 2004, Old Mutual supported her to take part in the Two Oceans Marathon.

“I'm happy and proud of Johannes, our star model for perseverance, dedication, hard work and commitment.

“It is not by accident that she did Namibia proud; it took years of hard work; if she was not committed and motivated, she would have given up a long time ago. It took years and years of hard work,” Naimwaka added.



Full list of bursary winners:

Junior performers (female and male) - Angala Tuli (N$12 000) and Lisias Theofulus (N$15 000)

Seniors (male) - Thomas Rainold (N$15 000), Jeremia Shaliaxwe (N$10 000) and Novestus Kirwa (N$5 000).

Seniors (female) - Helalia Johannes (N$15 000), Lavinia Haitope (N$10 000) and Leena Ekandjo (N$5 000)

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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