As the World Para Athletics Championships drew to a close, the National Paralympic Committee of Namibia, not only returned home with 3 silver medals, but also with three new racing wheelchairs.
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation (IWAS) Chief Executive Officer, Charmaine Hooper surprised NPC Namibia’s Secretary-General, Michael Hamukwaya with the donation of three racing wheelchairs during a handover at the athletes’ village. The aim of the donation is to increase opportunities available to athletes in Namibia but also an opportunity to grow wheelchair racing in Africa.
The donation will double the racing wheelchairs available to the Namibian NPC and the Secretary General, Michael Hamukwaya is now keen to include wheelchair racing at National Championships. It is hoped the increase in equipment will encourage athletes to get involved in sport with potential for competing at the 2024 Paralympic Games – or even earlier at the IWAS World Games in December this year.
IWAS’ Charmaine Hooper said,
“It is great to know these chairs will not just gather dust. Namibia is an active Nation within the Paralympic sport Movement and we are excited to see how the donation can increase the sporting opportunities for Namibian athletes.”
Namibia developing member of IWAS
Through the efforts of Elisa Ostet, Athletes Manager of the Namibian Paralympic athletes Shikongo and Nambala, and voluntary Social Media Reporter for the NPC, Namibia became a IWAS Developing Member of IWAS. Ostet said, “I knew about Hamukwaya’s struggles developing para sport in Namibia. After I met him at the Rio2016 Paralympics, I’m always looking for possibilities to help him improve the sports environment for those with impairments in Namibia. I believe this collaboration with IWAS will help the NPC grow the positive impact sport can have on those with an impairment.”
IWAS CEO said, “We are very happy to welcome the Namibian Paralympic Committee to the IWAS Membership. We look forward to working closely with them in the coming years and welcoming their athletes to IWAS events in the future.”
IWAS aims to create barrier-free opportunities for all, even in countries with limited financial resources or expertise. Through grants and equipment for sports they help Developing Members to improve the functional status and quality of life as well as mental and physical wellbeing.
IWAS creates global awareness of persons with impairments and has over the past 60 years enjoyed a full, vibrant and productive relationship with the Paralympic fraternity by contributing to athletes’ development.
IWAS was formed in 2004, but their history goes back to 1952 as the original founders of the Paralympic Games movement. IWAS has continued to provide its 65+ international members with competition and sporting opportunities to physically impaired athletes in maintaining its vision to “Inspire Worldwide Achievements in Sport”. IWAS remains a vital mechanism in the Paralympic movement through its international pathway from grassroot sport to elite Paralympic inclusion.
The IWAS World Youth Games and IWAS World Games provide annual multi-sport competition opportunities for athletes of 14 years up to ‘Masters’ (40 years +).
Read more: IWAS