A local club for para-athletes has been left without training ground after their venue was given up by the authorities to house the homeless as part of government efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Namib Lions Adaptive Sport Academy (NLASA) is home to renowned para-athletes such as Ananias Shikongo, who won silver at the 2016 paralympic games, as well as world championship medalist Johannes Nambala.
The club has also been instrumental in training and shaping the careers of many other para-athletes in the country.
The club has, for the past years, been holding most of its training activities at Katutura Sport Complex, which has now become home to the homeless since the end of March when President Hage Geingob announced the Covid-19 state of emergency.
According to the clubs’ founder, Michael Hamukwaya, athletes are now left without a place to train due to homeless people being housed at the facility. “We are finding things a little tough at the moment; we do not have a place to train, as our previous training ground is now being used to accommodate those without homes by the government to help mitigate the spread of the disease,” he said.
“We were depending much on that but now it’s filled with homeless people, which makes it very tough for us to have our training proceed. Our athletes are now scattered all over because they can longer train; I think it’s an issue that’s worth addressing.”
Hamukwaya, who is also the Namibia Paralympics secretary general, cautioned against associations fully depending on the government.
“We have learned the problems of depending fully on the government; we cannot conduct any training because the facilities are now being used to cater for the homeless. I think it is time we, as federations, begin making means where we can,” said Hamukwaya