Regions have expressed their readiness for the upcoming Debmarine Bridging the Gap initiative, where the country’s young athletes and coaches plan to leave their mark.
The youth tournament, which is a collaboration between Debmarine Namibia and the Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU), brings together U/15 and U/17 athletes from various schools from all 14 regions of the country to compete in netball, football and athletics.
The 2022 edition of the Debmarine Bridging the Gap initiative is set to take place at the coastal town of Swakopmund from Friday, 30 September, to Sunday, 2 October – and it is expected to cater for over 42 000 school athletes.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Otjozondjupa region’s netball coach Charlene Diergaardt said they are in the final stage of wrapping up their preparations, but the team looks good and ready to bring the heat to Swakopmund.
“Yes, we have selected our final team for the upcoming tournament; the team is looking good, and we are well prepared for this tournament. It is just that it was a challenge to get all the girls together because they were busy with exams. We are going to have the team in camp on Wednesday before leaving for Swakopmund. I believe we have selected a well-balanced team, and we will go out there and do well,” she said.
Meanwhile, Erongo region’s netball gaffer Michelle Brooks said the tournament is important, as it will help unearth more talents and also expose the young athletes to high-level competition.
“We are the host region, and we, therefore, know what they all expect from us – but we will be ready to make the region proud. I know we will have stiff competition from the other regions, such as Otjozondjupa and Khomas, but we remain ready and willing to take on every team that comes our way,” Brooks
“We had our last training this past weekend, where we assessed all our players – and I can confidently say it was a very successful one. Players who are on the team are the best in the region, so we are going for the win.”
Athletic Namibia president Erwin Naimhwaka explained the Debmarine Bridging the Gap initiative is instrumental in the development of young athletes and ties in very well with the country’s goal of becoming a centre of sporting excellence.
“Athletes are ready and looking forward to this weekend’s competition; we are expecting tough competition and more talents to be unveiled. We can safely say that this is another event that will produce the country more mega sport stars for the future.”