Paralympians rewarded for Tokyo achievements
Two Namibian athletes with disabilities and a guide on Friday received cash rewards from the Sisa Namandje Foundation for their achievements at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Ananias Shikongo and his guide Sem Shimanda, who won silver in the T11 400 m sprint, received N$15 000 and N$10 000 respectively, while T13 athlete Johannes Nambala - who won a bronze medal in the 400m sprint - also received N$10 000.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games were held in August and September in Japan this year.
While handing over the prizes, the foundation's Chairperson Iileka Amupanda said: “We are proud of the achievements made by the athletes and we hope this little gesture will motivate you to work hard next year”.
She added that as a foundation they understand how hard it is for athletes to be rewarded, but that they hope the little that is given to them will help where possible. Established in 2020, the foundation works towards helping orphanages and those in need.
In her remarks, sport minister Agnes Tjongarero said Namibian athletes have shown that they will never surrender to challenges or doubt their capabilities.
“Today we are not only celebrating but showing gratitude towards our athletes by rewarding them in recognition of their achievements. The corporate industry has been at the forefront of taking sports to the next level and today is one such day,” she said.
She added that even though the corporate industry is acknowledged for what they are doing in Namibia and for their magnificent contributions and commitments this year, more still needs to be done to grow sports.
“Keep in mind, development is a continuous process and we should not only emerge to reward when our athletes perform, but also be part of the preparation process because it is during this time our athletes are made or broken,” Tjongarero said.
Board member of the Namibia National Paralympic Committee Jean-Paul Schmidt said the journey to the 2024 Paralympic Games has begun, and efforts from the corporate world would be appreciated as the government cannot do it alone.