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Gaby Ahrens aims to uplift Namibian athletes

Fri, 20 January 2017 15:59
by Erasmus Shalihaxwe
Sports

The country’s most decorated trap shooter Gaby Diana Ahrens, who retired last year, is now a board member of the national Olympics committee.
She will represent athletics on national level to assist them get off the ground.
Ahrens represented Namibia at the Olympics on three occasions, with her first one in 2008 at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China where she finished 20th.
Her second major tournament was in 2012 at the summer Olympics in London. She finished at 22. Her third and last Olympics was last year at the Rio Olympics in Brazil where she ended 9th.
Ahrens says she is getting used to not participating in major tournaments and enjoys her free time now that she does not have to rush to the range for training anymore.
She, however, admits missing some parts of the game, like the discipline it requires and technical challenges she enjoyed in her career. She is not planning to make a U-turn on her decision to quit though.
Ahrens told The Villager Sport that she never enjoyed training in windy and dusty conditions - the range in Windhoek is mostly dusty - and preferred indoors.  She says her new role as a board member of the Namibia National Olympic Committee will ensure that the rights and interests of athletes are protected.
Some sport codes are not so popular, neither are they well-funded in the country, and this will be on her agenda.
Apart from being part of the Olympic committee, she owns a business together with her father Hasso Ahrens.
Southern Cross Services sells shade netting, ropes twins carports and awnings. Ahrens says it is always good to have a backup plan to fall on when you retire as one can never rely on sport, especially in Namibia where it generates very low income.
The next Olympics will be in 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. One cannot help but wonder whether Namibia will be represented in the category of trap shooting, as Ahrens was the only one that has ever represented the country since independence.
Namibians are not really exposed to trap shooting as most kids prefer to play rugby, soccer or boxing, just to mention a few of the most popular sport codes in the country.
Ahrens thinks that there are a lot of upcoming talented youngsters who can pick up from where she left off, and represent the country at major tournaments. Participation at the Olympics alone is regarded as an achievement by many even though they do not win anything.
Sport in the country has been hit by the economic crisis that is on-going now and some sport code are fading away day by day as even administrators do not even get rewarded for their services.