Victoria Kaliteka from Unam and Mateus Megameno from IUM were crowned the winners of the inaugural David Namwandi Trust Annual Half-Marathon women’s and men’s races on Saturday.
Speaking after the award ceremony, Megameno expressed his joy at winning the event and hopes to retain the title next year.
“It was a great race, and I enjoyed every part of it. I am happy with the competition I had – but mostly, this was a huge test for myself, and I hope I can retain this next year,” he said.
The 21.1km race that started and ended at the International University of Management (IUM) main campus in the capital saw a decent turnout of participants from local schools and universities.
The David Namwandi Trust is looking to make a bigger impact next year, as it plans to expand the event to all 14 regions.
Namwandi, who served as education minister from 2013 to 2015 and is the founder of IUM, during the award ceremony on Saturday morning, said the trust has lined up a couple of sports projects, which will be officially announced at a later stage.
“We envisage opening the marathon to all 14 regions; Erongo is next in line. Next year, we shall have three categories: 42.2 km (marathon), 21.1 km (half-marathon) – and of course, 10km. If funds permit, we will introduce the primary school marathon so that we start sports training at a very young age,” he said.
Namwandi also expressed his gratitude towards all participants of the event and acknowledged the significance of the half-marathon in grooming future long-distance runners while promoting healthy living in Namibia.
“I would like to congratulate all participants. It was indeed overwhelming to see the young aspiring marathon runners who took their time to compete in the half marathon. I believe the event has grown and plays a very crucial role in the development of runners in the country, and I urge our people to continue embracing this Marathon to ensure talent is developed from within our country,” he said.
Chief administrator at Namibia Sports Commission Freddy Mwiya was impressed with the young runners’ hunger to win, and said that if such marathons were to take place at least twice a year, Namibia would be in a great position to develop world-class marathon runners.
“I am impressed with the number of young people who turned up – but more importantly, it’s the hunger these young aspiring marathon runners showed. You could see that there is a zeal to want to become top runners, and if we continue hosting such events, we will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with in distance running,” he said.