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Home / Personality of the week - Murere: People think it’s easy being a Para-athlete

Personality of the week - Murere: People think it’s easy being a Para-athlete

2022-08-18  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Murere: People think it’s easy being a Para-athlete

Take us through your journey; how did you get into athletics? 

Well, my journey started with playing football – and like every other boy in Namibia, my dream was to play in the English Premier League one day. But sadly, after I lost my arm in a car accident in 2012, that dream was shattered. So, I had to look for and try out other sports besides football that would suit the ‘new’ me well. One day, my aunt suggested I try out track and field events. In the beginning, I was a bit hesitant about the idea – but once I tried it out, I instantly fell in love with the track.


As an athlete, especially when looking at your promising career, who would you say are some of the people who have inspired you? 

Firstly, God – and secondly, my supporting and encouraging family that has been part of my journey from the very beginning. God has blessed me with a great support system. I specifically give my aunt Petronella /Uiras all the credit, as she was a former 100m and 200m sprinter as well, and she saw the talent I possess and groomed me to become the athlete I am today.


With Para-sports only starting to get serious recognition in Namibia in the last couple of years, how difficult has it been for you to get to where you are today? 

It has honestly been really hard to stay positive and disciplined, especially at the beginning of my career because as Para-athletes, we are often looked down on by some ‘normal’ athletes because they are so delusional and think that competing as a Para-athlete is so easy. So, I always had and still have something to prove to myself and all the doubters because we work hard too and sometimes even harder than they do.


You represented Namibia at the recent Commonwealth Games in the UK, where you gave a good account of yourself. How was that experience for you?

Well, honestly speaking, it was a disappointment on my side because I know my best – and that performance at the Commonwealth Games was nothing close to my best. But I have learned from every race so far in my career that a loss can either make or break you. I also saw the importance of exposure before big games that we, as athletes, need, especially to foreign competitions.


You have been very dominant and consistent with your performances at various national, regional and international major competitions. What has kept you going so strongly over the years? 

I come from a family that taught me not to settle for less – and deep down I know I’m destined for greatness. The only way to get there is to consistently push myself and put God before everything.


A few years ago, you suffered a back injury but you managed to bounce back and have since been on the rise. How did you mentally and physically recover from such a setback? 

It was a really tough year for me cause the Tokyo Paralympic Games date was closing in, and the idea of not qualifying was eating me from the inside, making me negative all the time. I approached every training session nonchalantly, which didn’t help much also. But I made it out by putting my trust in God, my family and my coach Ulla fin Kelsey, who puts everything on the line for me. She’s my mom away from home.


What would you say are some of the challenges that are faced by local Para-athletes? 

Discrimination and lack of support. We always need to prove ourselves more than other athletes out there but still don’t get the respect we deserve and the awareness as well. I only got the recognition this year after the Commonwealth Games, although I’ve represented Namibia at big competitions before. Not to say fame was ever the aim but as long as I do my thing; it’s all that matters.


Taking from your own experience, what do you think Namibia should do for local Para-sport and athletes to catch up with the rest of the world? 

We need more exposure before big competitions. Namibia also needs to look out for small things, such as our diets, training, running gear and transport to and from training grounds for those who live far away. We deserve all that because we bring home medals from big events every time we compete.


Career-wise, what are some of your plans for next year and beyond? 

My plans for next year are to be better than this year – and for the future, I’m gunning to become one of the greatest to ever do this and also inspire as many people as I can.

2022-08-18  Staff Reporter

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