Wednesday, July 5 2017 | NEW ERA SPORT 23 Skorpion Zinc Cup re-launched WINDHOEK The fourth edition of the Under-17 Skorpion Zinc Cup was re-launched at Soccer House in the capital yesterday. The tournament, which took a one-year sabbatical, will take place in Windhoek during the weekend of September 9 and will see 14 regional U-17 football teams vie for top honours. Skorpion Zinc-Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo said at the launch they are proud to associate themselves with football development amongst Namibia’s youth. She said they took a break to revaluate themselves and see how the company can invest in Namibia’s football during the tough economic times. “We took a one-year break due to the economic crisis but we are now back and we will be here for a long time,” said Naidoo. The mining company and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) this year signed an N.4 million one-off contract, which ends at the completion of this year’s tournament but will be renegotiated and possibly renewed for 2018. NFA president Frans Mbidi said the youth tournament has unearthed a lot of young footballers who are now representing the country at national youth level. “The Under-17 Skorpion Zinc Cup is a good initiative for the country and the football community and we hope to keep up with such projects to help develop our football at grassroots level.” The group stages for the U17 Skorpion Zinc Cup are: Group A: Omusati, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Kunene and // Still going strong… The 4th edition of the Skorpion Zinc U-17 Cup was officially re-launched in the capital yesterday. Kharas Group B: Ohangwena, Khomas, Oshikoto, Erongo and Kavango East Group C: Kavango West, Zambezi, Oshana, and Hardap Group winners automatically qualify for the semi-finals, while the runners-up in Group A and B, which have five teams each, will face each other to determine the fourth semi-finalist. Khomas won the maiden edition in 2013, and Omusati in 2014 and 2015. - Nampa Old Mutual Far North Championships growing in leaps and bounds Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva Old Mutual Namibia has reiterated its unwavering commitment towards sports development. The giant financial institution committed N0,000 for the 14th edition of the annual Old Mutual Far North Championships comprising football and netball disciplines. So far the company has parted with a staggering amount of over N million since the inception of the ball games 14 years ago. Old Mutual Ongwediva branch manager Lucas Tshithigona says the Far North Championships initiative strives to promote physical health and fitness and develop the necessary skills and discipline sportsmen and sportswomen need to acquire in their disciplines. “Sport and education are interlinked through the development of our youth. Photo: Nuusita Ashipala Games-ready… From left, Old Mutual Ongwediva branch manager Lucas Tshithigona, Haudano Secondary School principal Christopher Shau, chief sports officer in the line ministry, Sunday Haitembu, and football coach at Eengedjo SS, Robert Naundobe. Discipline and learning skills development on the pitch can assist learners to excel in education,” said Tshithigona. Chief sports officer in the portfolio ministry, Sunday Haitembu applauded Old Mutual, saying that over 200 schools and hundreds of individuals have benefited immensely from the initiative. “They acquired the most needed and expensive equipment that the government through the ministry of education could not afford to provide.” The coach of reigning champions in the football discipline Eengedjo Secondary School, Robert Naundobe, says the school has benefited massively and urged Old Mutual to continue with the noble gesture which serves as a motivational factor for learners. Haudano Secondary School are the defending champions in the netball section and school principal Christopher Shau made a humble appeal to Old Mutual to ensure strict supervision from the zonal ball games until the last intra-regional matches in an effort to ensure fairness prevails. Haitembu informed the media that action in the popular zonal ball games got underway already and it’s expected to be completed by the end of this month, while the intra-regional games should be completed before end of September. The winners and runnersup in both the football and netball divisions will receive photocopy machines, trophies and several other prizes including sports gear.
NEW ERA | Wednesday, July 5 2017 Wato paddling wins the day at popular Rundu Beach Page 21 PK De Villiers crowned Inter Regional Games champions Page 22 SPORT Brave Warriors beat Swaziland to reach Cosafa Plate final ... face South Africa on Friday Otniel Hembapu Windhoek A bit of introspection and ferocity is what Namibia’s senior football team, the Brave Warriors, needed to brush aside a stubborn Swaziland 1-0 to book their place in the Cosafa Castle Cup Plate final. A superb second half solitary goal from Namibia’s lethal net-buster Roger Katjiteo yesterday proved enough to help the 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup Plate competition winners the Brave Warriors beat Swaziland by 1-0 and reach Friday’s Plate final, where they will face hosts South Africa. Namibia took the lead in the 57th minute when Katjiteo feasted on a perfect flick-on from substitute Itamunua Keimuine and wasted little time in the box when he volleyed home to hand the Brave Warriors the lead, which remained until the final whistle. In the post-match interview, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti expressed great satisfaction with the result and the prospects of beating South Africa in Friday’s final, but however maintained that if his charges are to overcome Bafana Bafana they On the roll... The Brave Warriors will take on hosts South Africa in Friday’s Plate final of the Cosafa Castle Cup after both won their semi-final matches at the Moruleng Stadium yesterday. would need to play with much more tenacity and aggression. “It’s been a tough week for us but I think we played much better today compared to how we played against Lesotho on Saturday, when we lost. Today my boys played with a bit of urgency and much aggression and we also managed to create a lot of chances, although we were only able to convert one. “We always create chances but we have to start converting those chances, especially heading into Friday’s final against South Africa,” said Mannetti, who guided Namibia to her first ever Cosafa Cup trophy in 2015. Namibia’s ever-enterprising winger Deon Hotto, who was chosen as Man of the Match yesterday, agreed with his mentor Mannetti, saying if they are to overpower South Africa on Friday, they will need to play as a unit and with more aggression. “Today we needed to work a bit harder and make sure we beat Swaziland because a win was the only thing that was going to keep us in the competition. On Friday we face South Africa and most of my home-based team-mates, and all of us, would love to play against South Africa. We are really excited and looking forward to Friday’s final,” said Hotto, who had the crowd in bliss with every touch of the ball yesterday. In the first Plate final earlier in the day, South Africa defeated Botswana 2-0 via a first-half wonder strike from Riyaad Norordien and a last-minute goal by Judas Moseamedi. DSN to the rescue of stranded Paralympians Otniel Hembapu Windhoek After weeks of emotional distress and uncertainty, the secretary-general of the Namibia Paralympics Committee (NPC) Michael Hamukwaya yesterday confirmed that they have finally secured funds to send four of the country’s top Para-athletes to London for this year’s World Championships. Just a few weeks ago, the participation of the country’s athletes in the upcoming International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships, slated for London’s Olympic Stadium on July 14-23, was uncertain after the government – through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) – said they were not in a position to finance the team’s trip to the UK. Initially, five Namibian athletes qualified for the World Championships – they were Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala, Johanna Benson, Lahja Ishitile and Aino Mushila but Benson later had to withdraw due to an assortment of injuries. As per earlier budget submissions, NPC said it needed about N0,000 to fully cover the travelling and accommodation expenses of the athletes and their guides as well as the various officials but due to the scarcity of funds and the withdrawal of Benson, Hamukwaya said they now only needed about N0,000. Fortunately, NPC’s mother body Disability Sport Namibia (DSN) heard the athletes’ cry and came to their rescue by availing the needed N0,000 to ensure the remaining four athletes are able to represent the country at the global championships. Although the N0,000 has been secured, NPC still has to secure additional funds to pay for the athletes’ registration fees but have in the meantime negotiated with IPC to provisionally allow the Namibian athletes to participate while they make plans to pay the money. The team leaves next Tuesday. Para-athletes have been in the lead when it comes to collecting medals at international level. The support towards these athletes, however, is said to not be forthcoming. Shikongo and Nambala are set to defend their titles at these games. Good to go... Namibia’s leading Para-athlete Johannes Nambala and team-mates have been given the green light to represent the country at the upcoming IPC World Championships in London.