SWAKOPMUND - Various regional coaches have lauded the Debmarine Bridging the Gap initiative, saying the sports competition is a great platform to develop talent.
The youth tournament was held at Swakopmund from 1 to 2 October and all 14 regions participated in the competition.
Sponsored by Debmarine Namibia and facilitated by the Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU), the event saw U/15 and U/17 learners compete in netball, football and athletics disciplines.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Maria Kudumo, an athletics coach from Kavango West, said the competition is a good platform to develop talent as many children were accorded an opportunity to showcase their talents.
Kudumo said the exposure received by young athletes would boost their morale, especially those who come from disadvantaged areas in the country, adding that the competition provided a platform where those learners could now “aim for the stars” in their lives.
“It’s a very important platform if we are talking about talent development. The opportunity given to the athletes is huge that they showcased their talents and some of them have caught the eyes of various coaches, which might sometimes mean that their lives may be impacted massively,” she said.
Meanwhile, Christopher Sinvula, who is a football coach in the Zambezi region, said the youth tournament was very vital in their lives as it encouraged interaction as well as cultural exchange. He added that some children gained a skill or two from their other regional counterparts.
“For me, the competition is more than just a competition. This is a platform created for youngsters to interact and exchange cultural beliefs and boost morale. This opened the eyes of other athletes to understand one or two things from other regions/tribes. It creates unity amongst them as Namibians, which is good for the country,” he noted.
In terms of exposure, Sinvula added that the difference made by the games is huge, as they have now learned how important it is to play at such a competition.
“Some will now be giving their participation in sports 100% in the future. They will also continue to work hard in the near future to get such an opportunity again,” he said.
Ndango Mbangu from Kavango East echoed his counterparts’ sentiments, saying the event created a great opportunity to exchange knowledge. They will now go back home and plough the knowledge back at their respective schools.
“I am impressed; the children are working hard to improve their skills, most importantly doing their best on the field. We will go back and teach what we learned from here this weekend. We hope for more competitions of such nature,” added Mbangu.