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It takes a village to tap into potential – Sports


Namibia’s most celebrated track and field athlete, Frank Fredericks, says the time is now for unearthing more untapped talent in the country.
Fredericks, who is the first athlete to win medals for Namibia at the Olympics, said that it’s important to ensure continuity to avoid 25-year waits for an Olympic medal. “Let us use the doors that were opened with the latest Olympic medal to join hands and make sure that talented athletes do not slip through the cracks,” Fredericks said.
At the just ended Tokyo Olympic Games, youthful sprinter Christine Mboma became the first female and second Namibian to win an Olympics medal while her teammate Beatrice Masilingi reached the 200 metre (m) final – for which Fredericks says they are undeniably star athletes who will continue making Namibia proud.
“I would like to see more guidance for the untapped potential we have in Namibia. It is important that we ensure continuity of such star performances at the Olympics and other major sporting events,” he said.
Fredericks added that Namibia has capable athletes who can reach any level of success but the right support is needed. “I have always maintained that sports development in the country is the responsibility of schools, the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU), government and federations. It is up to all of us to make sure that we instil the spirit of sports in the youth for generations to come,” said Fredericks who also stated that Namibia has a young world record holder and a first female Olympic medallist, he therefore is hopeful that more corporates will start investing in sports.
The holder of four Olympic silver medals in 100m and 200m advises Mboma and Masilingi to always give it their best and continue breaking as many records as possible.
Fredericks, who is now a businessman, also advised the young athletes to handle their finances well. “I suggest they get an agent that works for them and has their best interest at heart in helping them carve a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their families,” he said noting that they should at least save 10 per cent for long term use because there is no pension for Olympians.
He also said it is important to be forward thinking and his hope is for the two breathtaking sprinters to at least complete their Grade 12. “As I always preach, they should not forget about their education as it is the greatest equaliser and will enable them opportunities outside of athletics which is unpredictable.” – Nampa
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