30 Oct 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 OCT (NAMPA) Paralympic athlete Ananias Shikongo says he is excited about taking part in the National Paralympic Championships here over the weekend.
The athletics championships will be hosted by the Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) at the Independence Stadium in the capital from Friday until Saturday.
This is the third National Paralympic Championships to be held since the events inception in 2011.
It did not take place in 2012 as decisions about the format of the event were still to be taken that year, amongst others like whether the championships should be held annually.
Sollie Duiker, national coordinator of the Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU) explained to Nampa on Thursday that the decision was taken at the time to then host the event every year.
Speaking at a media conference here on Wednesday, Shikongo, the visually-impaired athlete who runs in the T11 and T13 (100 metres, 200m and 400m) categories, said the reason for hosting the championships is to create awareness about activities para-athletes are involved in.
We always come back home from tournaments organised outside the country with medals, and our own fans do not know how they were won.
This time around, we are at home and would like to create awareness of what we go through to win these medals. We want people to come witness what we go through, stressed Shikongo.
He added that the championship will be used as a platform to unearth new talent, as well as to motivate athletes to take sports seriously.
It was also announced at the event that this year will see wheelchair racing athletes compete at the championships.
Some other well-known Paralympians expected to grace the event are Martin Aloysius (200m and 400m); Reginald Benade (shotput and discus) as well as Anna Kambinda and Lahja Ishitile (100m and 200m).
Johanna Benson will not be participating in the event after she was invited to the Goals Forum in Doha, Qatar to deliver a motivational speech.
The National Paralympics Championship will only be for track and field athletes.
The games start on Friday at 14h00, and entrance is free.