Otniel Hembapu Windhoek-If Namibian para-athletes are to continue bringing home more medals and dominate on the international arena, government and the private sector will seriously have to relook into various policies and the amount of resources injected into structures catering for the athletes. This was the view of Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube when she received the country’s Paralympians at her office on Friday. Manombe-Ncube welcomed and congratulated Ananias Shikongo and Johannes Nambala, as well as guides Even Tjiuju and Sydney Kamuharukua during the athletes’ brief courtesy visit to her office. Namibia Paralympics Committee (NPC) secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya also accompanied the athletes. “Our para-athletes have demonstrated feats of superhuman strength, despite the many challenges they face. But alongside the celebration of exceptional ability, we must also reflect on our worst disability, which is the way in which our society is disabling people. “The fact is that society does not accommodate our differences. A person using a wheelchair is today still not able to enter a building, because no provision has been made for wheelchair access. A human rights approach to disability calls for the rethinking of not just physically disabling structures, but also social spaces and workplace environments. “Now is the time for us to challenge ourselves as both government and private sector to realign our commitment, support and dedication to these national heroes. I would especially like to call upon the private sector to follow the example of past and present sponsors of our para-athletes. “The private sector should continue investing in our athletes to enhance their competitiveness internationally. We should develop measures that will encourage people with disabilities to lead more active lives. “I would also like to commend FNB Namibia, through its FNB Holdings Foundation Trust, for its timely investment that enabled our athletes to compete at the recent IPC World Championship in London. I hope more corporate partners will come on board,” Manombe-Ncube said. Amplifying the call for more support, NPC secretary-general Hamukwaya said the country has immense talent at its disposal, but the lack of opportunity remains a stumbling block for aspiring athletes and there is little financial support for the established ones. He thus appealed to the corporates to on board to investment and assist the country’s Paralympians, saying as witness in recent times if adequate resources are pumped into their work and wellbeing, positive results are guaranteed.
2017-08-14 12:28:29 1 years ago