Agnes Tjongarero says Namibian athletes must not neglect their education.
Tjongarero made the call in Windhoek yesterday as she announced the new recipients of the coveted Frank Fredericks Foundation scholarships.
In Tjongarero's words: "Sport alone might or might not take you very far in life."
Hence it is necessary that athletes realise the importance of supplementing their talents with a good education, she said.
"Whenever something (unfortunate) happens and we cannot go any further then there's always something to fall back on," Tjongarero said.
"Even once you are done with your sport career then you have the qualification to do something else."
Five scholarships worth a combined N$55 000 were awarded to promising young Namibian athletes, while Braunfels Agricultural High School in Khorixas received sport equipment valued at N$10 000.
The athletes are: Charlene Engelbrecht - Shot put and Discus (N$15 000), Julian Fryman - 1500m, 800m and half marathon (N$10 000), Jesse Urikhob - 100m, 200m (N$10 000), and Jesse Urikhob - 100m, 200m (N$10 000).
"Thanks to the Frank Fredericks Foundation for assisting us. We promise that we will not disappoint," said Fryman. The FFF scholarships - awarded every year since 1999 - have so far been awarded to 118 recipients, totalling N$447 000.
Tjongarero said each scholarship will be equally disbursed between the athlete's academic and sports-related expenses.
"The Foundation takes great pride in encouraging athletes to not only excel on the sports field, but to also excel in their academics. We at the Frank Fredericks Foundation see the immense talent that these athletes have and we believe that if nurtured well, these athletes can go a long way," she said.
The FFF also announced that two new board members, Monica Dahl-Böhm and Amos Shiyuka, have been co-opted to the board. Dahl-Böhm and Shiyuka join Frank Fredericks (chairperson), Agnes Tjongerero, Anibal Rego, Sydney Martin and Bonnie Paulino as trustees.