Omaheke Top 8 set for Gobabis 

Omaheke Top 8 set for Gobabis 

Zebaldt Ngaruka 

EPUKIRO – Omaheke region’s popular Top 8 football and netball tournament will kick off tomorrow at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis. 

About 37 football and 22 netball teams from the region will participate in the 12th edition of the tournament, aimed at promoting regional players.

One of the competition’s organisers, Kuveri Tjonga, said the prestigious showpiece is one of the oldest and biggest tournaments in the region.

“This is our champions league. Many players from the region get spotted during this competition by top-tier leagues in the country,” he said. 

An amount of N$36 000 has been set aside for the tournament, in addition to trophies and medals. Football teams will compete for N$26000, while netball teams will vie for N$10 000 prize money.

Current national team players like Betuel Muzeu, Romeo Kasume, Tjipee Karuuombe and Kamaijanda Ndisiro were scouted from such tournaments.

“We cannot forget the likes of Denzel Haoseb, Roger Katjiteo, Charles Hambira, Maximilian Mbaeva and Loydt Kazapua, who also emerged from these types of tournaments,” Tjonga added.

The organiser, who is also a bishop for St Joel Healing Christian Church in Gobabis, said the competition is a platform for youths from different constituencies to mingle and create a spirit of togetherness. 

“This is a community tournament, and the elders in our region contribute to the development of sports. One such example is renowned farmer Vasana Ndjavera, who contributed immensely to this tournament,” he highlighted. 

 Tjonga added that Ndjavera motivates the youth to refrain from unwanted activities, and to get engaged in sports.

Football teams are divided into two groups – A and B, with matches starting at 07h30 for both groups.

The netball competition will start at 10h00 on Saturday.  Otjozondjima from Epukiro are the defending football champions, while Fine Young Stars of Otjinene are the netball champions. 

Otjozondjima president Spee Katjirua said his team is well-prepared for the competition.

“Our boys are ready, they trained hard for the tournament. We want to retain the cup,” he said.

“The only notable absentee is Karuuombe, who is with Brave Warriors in South Africa for the Cosafa tournament. However, his absence is not a concern, as our aim is to produce star players to represent the country, and we are very proud of him,” the president said.

Katjirua added that team captain Apollo Hangero is back in the fold after a long absence due to police training.

“It’s good to have him back, as he is a versatile player who contributes a lot in the field of play. His command and leadership skills are exceptional, and we are happy to have him in this competition,” said the president. The football competition is expected to end on Sunday.