The first-ever National Para Powerlifting Championship is set to be held next month with the aim being of de-monopolising the sport. Although para powerlifting in Namibia has been successful, it has only been performed by para-athlete Ruben Soroseb.
The Secretary- General of the Namibian Paralympic Committee (NPC), Michael Hamukwaya said they are aiming to have three athletes from each region competing in the tournament.
“Ruben has done well for the nation internationally, and we thought it would be good to have more than one athlete. We need to build this sport. Internationally, it is wellknown that Namibia has good powerlifters when in actual fact we don’t even have a national championship,” stated Para powerlifting gets first Championship Hamukwaya.
The first day of the event, which is scheduled to start on 14 December, will be a training camp, followed by a weighin, with competition to commence in earnest on the second day.
The NPC Secretary- General further said they will look to encourage para-athletes to take part in more sports codes. This will afford the NPC a development team which will allow them to have some options when sending para-athletes out to international events.
“We want this to turn into an annual event because we know a number of guys who are interested in parapowerlifting, but the challenge is that some of them stay in areas which make it difficult to get to. Another challenge for us is that most of the gyms in the country are mainly in Windhoek, and even those ones are not accessible to para-athletes because they are upstairs,” he said.
Hamukwaya added: “That is another thing that we have to do to educate people to start to incorporate para-athletes.” As such, the Para Powerlifting Championship will be held at Willy’s Gym in Walvis Bay, where Soroseb usually does his training.
Soroseb has represented Namibia at the 2012 London Paralympics, and twice at the Commonwealth Paralympic Games. Earlier this year, he qualified for the Commonwealth Paralympic Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July for winning gold in the men’s 72kg category by benching 210kg at the South African National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Stellenbosch.