The Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, says the upcoming Special Olympic World Games is a remarkable opportunity for disabled athletes to showcase their exceptional talents.
Speaking during the official send-off, Tjongarero urged the team to epitomise the spirit of Namibia and represent their country with utmost pride.
“The Special Olympics World Games serve as a remarkable testament to the power of inclusion, placing individuals with disabilities and their remarkable sporting abilities in the limelight.
The government of Namibia, through the Ministry of Sport, Youth, and National Services, has wholeheartedly committed substantial funds amounting to N$1.03 million in support of this event. We aim to ensure that our athletes are allowed to compete on the international stage,” Tjongarero said.
Speaking at the same event, the head of the delegation, Emilia Nzuzi, expressed the team’s unwavering ambition to win gold medals at the prestigious international competition.
She acknowledged the government’s invaluable support in enabling the team to participate in the games.
“As is normal, we extend our profound gratitude to the government for their generous provision of funds, allowing us to travel to Germany and partake in this esteemed tournament. Last year, during our participation in a competition in the United States, we returned home with medals. Today, I stand before you with confidence, assuring everyone present that we will bring gold when we return,” Nzuzi said.
Nzuzi noted that the team has been meticulously prepared and is ready to compete.
Athletics coach Jeremia Kavandje, said there will be tough competition in Germany, but was confident of success as the team had prepared well.
“The expectations are undeniably high, and the competition will undoubtedly be fierce as we face the world’s best. Therefore, we have diligently prepared ourselves. Our tireless efforts throughout the entire preparation process have positioned us favourably. I am confident that our team will excel and emerge victorious,” said a confident Kavandje
Soon after the send-off event, the Namibia Special Olympic team left the country for Germany to compete at the Special Olympic World Games scheduled for 15 to 25 June in Berlin.
The games are expected to attract 190 countries, with Namibia sending a delegation of 18 members.
Of these, nine will be athletes who will represent the nation across three different sports disciplines, athletics, cycling, and basketball while the other nine are officials.