20 Jan 2017 13:00pm
OMARURU, 20 JAN (NAMPA) - The fifth edition of the Erongo Power Save Street Mile in Omaruru in October will feature a Paralympic category inspired by Israel Kaulume, a disabled participant last year.
The category T42-44 will enable disabled participants in the street mile to compete. Athletes in this category have single below knee amputations or can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs.
Kauluma, who was the first disabled athlete to participate in the event, competed in the Masters Men category, hitting 11 minutes and 23 seconds in the 1.5 kilometre road race, using a wheelchair.
My office is engaging Athletics Namibia and the Paralympic Committee to make sure everything is done according to guidelines for Paralympic games, Omaruru Regional Sports Officer, Bethold Karumendu told Nampa on Thursday.
Karumendu said many disabled people have an interest in participating in the street mile but are hindered because of a lack of suitable wheelchairs.
Many people with impairments are hidden; lets encourage them to participate in the race, Karumendu said.
The T42-44 category will join the senior men and women's category for people between 20 and 39 years old, junior men and women (ages 14-19), veteran men (ages 40-49), masters' men and women (ages 50 and above), and boys and girls (ages 10-13).
The introduction of the Paralympic category brings along a number of challenges such as access to suitable wheelchairs, however Karumendu is confident that these challenges will be addressed.
Last year, Erongo Power Save Street Mile attracted 947 participants backed by sponsorship from Shield Namibia through the Omaruru-based Erongo Powersave Wholesaler; Ministry of Sports, Youth, and National Service; Pasta Polana; Marathon Sugar; Windhoek Light; Coca-Cola and First National Bank.
Karumendu has already started engaging sponsors in preparation for this event, which has become an annual highlight for local runners .