01 Jul 2015 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 01 JUL (NAMPA) - Brave Gladiators midfielder Albertha Chicken Dawes died on Monday after being diagnosed with a brain tumour a few weeks back.
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) announced the young footballers death in a media statement on Tuesday, saying that the 21-year-old died in the Katutura Intermediate Hospital in Windhoek.
Dawes joined the NFA Galz and Goals project at the age of 10 and played for the Under-14 National Galz and Goals team.
She won two gold medals as an U-16 national player in the Hessequa Girls Football Tournament in South Africa in 2010.
She also represented Namibia at the U-17 Confederation of Southern African School Sport Associations (Cosassa) Ball Games from the age of 14 until she turned 17.
Her best performances were with the Under-20 national team, where she was a prominent team member.
Dawes was called up to the senior national womens football team at the age of 15 and has 45 caps for her country at senior level.
According to the NFA, she was very confident, made her views heard and never took opportunities for granted.
The association said Chicken featured in many publications because she was not shy to express herself in order to encourage young upcoming female footballers to grab opportunities.
Brave Gladiators head coach Jacqueline Shipanga was quoted in the statement as saying I am so sad. I am in tears, especially knowing that there is nothing I could do to save her life other than what I have been doing.
Shipanga described her as a joyful, beautiful and excellent young woman. She said Dawes played her first official NFA league match on the same day she (Shipanga) retired from active football. At the time, Chicken was only 10 years old.
I would always go to her house if I dont see her at training because I always wanted her not to leave football because of the power of sport to look after young children like her. Also because she was more than just a player to the NFA; she had strong willpower to do activities to encourage younger girls to participate in sport, she said.
On her part, national education manager at Galz and Goals, Jackie Gertze said they will miss Dawes and will never forget her in the Galz and Goals project.
Gertze said she grew up as a player in this project and played at all levels of the youth development project of the NFA.
Her death has left that big gap of someone who really picked up every tip in life to better her own circumstances. Its difficult to accept that she is gone because she is so young, but we accepted the news because God has better plans. We at the NFA Galz and Goals project wish her family strength during this difficult time, she said.
The details of Dawes funeral will be released at a later stage.