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New Era Newspaper - 20/06/2017 - Vol22 No218

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NEW ERA | Tuesday, June

NEW ERA | Tuesday, June 20 2017 VAR needs time – Chile coach Page 22 I’m disappointed in referee, says bruised Sai Page 23 SPORT Former Okakarara sports officer Roger Kambatuku Acting director of sports Jo-Ann Manuel Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu Okakarara needs a sports officer - Kandorozu … moratorium on expenditure blamed for delay Carlos Kambaekwa Okakarara Outspoken NUDO Councillor for Okakarara Constituency Vetaruhe Kandorozu has expressed concern over the conspicuous absence of a dedicated sports officer in the constituency. “It has been almost seven years now since the previous sports officer, Roger Kambatuku, was transferred to Windhoek but his successor is yet to be unveiled. This scenario is seriously affecting sports development and other related recreational activities in the area,” he charged. The NUDO firebrand believes the continued absence of a dedicated sports officer to facilitate and provide directives to aspiring athletes could have far-reaching ramifications. “With the accelerating unemployment rate, particularly in our constituency, sports has without an iota of doubt the desired potential to keep young people off the streets and way from the evils of society. It also helps foster closer ties and camaraderie between communities with different views on various topics, including political allegiance.” Approached to shed light on Kandorozu’s concerns, the acting director of sports in the portfolio ministry, Jo-Ann Manuel, said the ministry was fully aware of the situation but was hamstrung by recent budget cuts. “As we are all aware, the government has placed a moratorium on expenditure, including the recruitment of new staff members. This problem is not only confined to the Okakarara Constituency. Okavango West, Lüderitz and Oranjemund are also saddled with the same problem.” Manuel advised authorities in the vast Okakarara to draft a letter for the attention of Cabinet. “In the interim, they are welcome to utilise the services of the sports officer in Otjiwarongo – provided proper procedures are followed,’ she said. Namibian-born Hardwick keen to emulate Force legend Staff Reporter Windhoek Namibian-born Wallabies flanker Richard Hardwick has set his sights on filling the shoes of retiring great Matt Hodgson after re-signing with the Western Force for the 2018 Super Rugby season. Hardwick has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season, capped by his elevation into the Wallabies squad for the recent Tests against Fiji and Scotland. The 23-year-old has played 17 times for the Force since making his debut last year, and is ranked in the top 10 in Super Rugby for forced turnovers this season. Hardwick, who can play anywhere in the back row, was born in Namibia but raised in Western Australia. With club legend Hodgson retiring at the end of the season, Hardwick wants to take over the responsibility of being the team’s go-to option. “With Hodgson hanging up the boots, I want to step up and play in that No. 7 jersey and try the best I can to fill his boots. He’s a legend of our club and he’s done so much for the club, but I’ll do my best to give everything to the team,” said Hardwick. Born in Namibia’s metropolis Windhoek on the 31 May 1994, Hardwick is one of Western Australia’s rugby success stories, with the back-rower coming up through the state’s junior ranks before being signed by the Force as part of their extended playing squad. Hardwick said it was an easy decision to re-sign with the Force, despite the Perthbased franchise facing an uncertain future. “ Wallabies is my home. It’s where I was brought up, On the rise... Namibian-born rugby sensation Richard Hardwick (with ball) seen here in action for his Australian club Wallabies. and I’ve played all my rugby in Wallabies. I’ve got mates who have done the same thing, like Ross Haylett- Petty and Chance Peni, who I played with when I was 15,” Hardwick said. He attended Churchlands Senior High School in Perth and was selected for the Australia ‘A’ Schoolboys team in 2011. He earned his stripes playing for University of Western Australia (UWA) in the local Premier Grade competition. Hardwick previously played in the Juniors for UWA. In addition, he spent two years with the Future Force squad preparing to become a Super Rugby player. Named as a member of the Force’s wider training group ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season, Hardwick didn’t have to wait long for his debut, arriving as it did in a match away to the Highlanders at the end of March. He made two starts and two substitute appearances during the season. Hardwick won the Phil Waugh Medal in the grand final of the 2016 National Rugby Championship for his man of the match performance on the way to Perth Spirit’s first NRC title win. – Additional info: wwos.

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