12 Aug 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) Thirty Namibian athletes departed for Nanjing, China on Monday to participate in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 16 to 28 August.
The athletes are between 15 and 18-years- old, and will participate in girls football, swimming, tennis, athletics, beach volleyball, gymnastics, archery and cycling.
The team is being led by Monica Böhm as chef de mission.
The YOG is an international multi-sports event organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Games are held every four years in staggered summer and winter events, consistent with the current Olympic Games format.
It is the second time that the IOC hosts these Games after 2010 in Singapore.
Besides the sporting aspect, education and culture are also key components of the Youth Olympics edition, and to this end, a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) will be featured at each of the Games.
The Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) on Friday officially bade farewell to the team.
This is the end of I and the beginning of team. Team Namibia, there is no I in team, NNOC president Agnes Tjongarero was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Monday.
She also urged the youngsters to help each other and to be proud, not only of their country, but also of their achievements.
The Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo was also quoted in the same statement as saying that in order to increase future success, the Namibian government should invest in a world-class sports centre to adequately prepare athletes before they go to events of such magnitude.
The centre should be secluded somewhere in the desert to prevent too many distractions taking the focus of the athletes (away), he noted.
The minister also suggested that physical education should become a mandatory subject in Namibian schools in order to identify talent at the youngest age possible.