The Namibia Wheelchair Basketball Federation (NWBF) recently held a 3x3 high-performance camp, and acting president of the federation Pondo Nailenge said it was a success overall. The training camp took place from 19 to 23 May, and was used to select the men’s national team that will represent Namibia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games’ qualifiers set for September in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In an interview with this publication, Nailenge said 12 athletes from the Khomas, Ohangwena and Oshana regions took part in the high-performance camp, which included training on the basic rules and drills of the game, the importance of continuous training, and disadvantages of doping.
“It was a great training camp that we had. Various players competed in this camp, which saw us select a team that will compete in the qualifiers at the upcoming Commonwealth Games later this year,” he reiterated.
The full team will be announced at a later stage. Nailenge added that heading forward, they want to plough back into the community by hosting more tournaments and training camps in all regions. They are also looking at selecting a women’s team.
“With the success of the training camp, we will go and plough back into our communities. We want to host coaching clinics in the northern regions, as well as stage more tournaments to encourage athletes to join. We still want to work with schools to incorporate basketball there,” said Nailenge.
One of the participants, Mitch Dewaldt, told Nampa that for the first time in the history of wheelchair basketball, Namibia will compete in a major championship.
“The skills and knowledge gained at the event will, therefore, be used to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Dewaldt added that having athletes go through different types of training and aspects of the game is a good way of creating awareness, as well as letting the public know that people with disabilities can also live productive lives.
Agnes Hausiku, one of four women who took part, described the camp as empowering. “To be part of the team allowed me to learn how skills can be developed. Wheelchair basketball players are not empowered, and hosting such a boot camp is a privilege for such players”, she beamed.
The camp was sponsored by NamPower.
– Additional reporting by Nampa