WINDHOEK – The Namibia Paralympics Committee (NPC) is in the process of joining forces with a British expert that will help train and set up a highly competitive wheelchair basketball team for Namibia.
According to NPC secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya, intensive training sessions for local wheelchair basketballers is lined up for 9-18 August in the capital and it will be facilitated by the visiting British expert. Hamukwaya said having a well-organised and competitive wheelchair basketball team has always been NPC’s dream and with the help of the expert, Namibia will very soon be competing against sister countries within the region at various competitions. “We are having an expert from Britain coming in just to help Namibia put up a wheelchair basketball team. For a while now we have been trying to conduct training sessions with our local wheelchair basketball players and to also come up with a team but we lacked expertise to help us in these areas. So the arrival of the expert will be great to kick-start that process,” said Hamukwaya.
Hamukwaya explained that training will start with three regions, namely Ohangwena, Oshana, and Khomas, as those are the only regions that have so far been active in wheelchair basketball. He said players from the three mentioned regions should bring along their own wheelchairs that will be used during training. “The most important thing we are targeting after hosting the upcoming event is to create awareness – to let Namibians know that there are also other sport codes that athletes with disabilities can partake in and represent the country. At the moment, Namibian Paralympics is dominated by athletics but athletics is not the only sport code available for people with disabilities.”
“We have some local companies that are helping fund the event though talks are still in progress. We are still building partnerships – we haven’t yet finalised as to how much they [companies] are going to put together for the whole event,” added Hamukwaya.