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Athletes Commission to host first Athlete’s Forum

by Rodney Pienaar

Namibia Athletes Commission (NAC) will be hosting the first ever Athletes Forum in Windhoek on 4th August at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) auditorium.

Athletes Forum is an important platform to address pertinent issues facing athletes and all other performance-related factors, Gaby Ahrens said speaking on behalf of NAC.

““This initiative is not only aimed at providing information but encouraging athletes to become involved in their development, while understanding their role, and the role of their coaches in preparing for future international competitions,” she said.

She added that with the assistance of well-known international speakers representing multiple areas of expertise in sport, athletes will learn anti-doping rules and regulations, understand the importance of sports psychology, and be introduced to career options available to retired athletes through sport management degrees offered by NUST.

Highlighting anti-doping education as one of the key focus areas of the Athletes Forum, Ahrens stated that more often athletes are not aware of what is prohibited and even an innocent flu medicine could be problematic and drug tests could turn out positive.

“This is not where the winning happens. The competitive advantage goes to athletes who are able to manage their pressure and possess the mental skills and edge compared to their competitors. Your mind is what will bring you the win,” Ahrens said.

The event will be hosted in partnership with the sports ministry; the Namibia Sports Commission; NUST and Bank Windhoek.

One of Africa’s most successful Olympic athlete, Zimbabwean swimmer and now Chairperson of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Kirsty Coventry and former international football player, Namibia’s Collin Benjamin, will also share their personal journeys to sporting success.

Other Namibian athletes such as 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medalists Helalia Johannes; Jonas Junius Jonas and double Paralympic Gold medalist Ananias Shikongo are part of an elite panel of athletes in a question and answer session scheduled for the event.