KRISTOF Shaanika and Lavinia Haitope each received N$15 000 as the overall winners of the Old Mutual Victory Races series at a press conference in Windhoek on Tuesday.
Shaanika won the Senior Men's category with an average time of 1:05:37 for two of the three legs of the series.
Simon Shipingana, who came second with an average time of 1:05:48, received N$10 000 and Uveni Kuugongelwa, who came third with an average time of 1:06:01, received N$5 000.
Haitope won the Senior Women's category with an average time of 1:15:59, while Anna Amutoko came second with an average time of 1:18:28 and Sofia Nambabi came third with an average time of 1:18:52. Amutoko and Nambabi also received N$10 000 and N$5 000 respectively.
Julian Fryman and Ndapandula Nghinaunye, who won the Junior Male and Junior Female categories respectively, received sport development bursaries of N$12 000 each.
It was the 12th year that Old Mutual had sponsored the Victory Races series, which has grown into the biggest road running event in Namibia.
In that time they have sponsored more than N$3 million towards the series, while this year's series alone amounted to a sponsorship of N$510 000.
Gim Victor, Old Mutual's CEO Retail Business, said that the series had grown from strength to strength with more than 20 000 athletes finishing the races over the 12 years.
He added that Shaanika and Haitope would also receive sponsorships of N$16 100 each to compete in the 2013 Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Director of Sport, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, congratulated Old Mutual for their investment in sport in Namibia, saying it had made a significant contribution to community upliftment and skills development in Namibia.
He also called on more companies to sponsor sport, saying that it made a significant impact on the well being of a nation.
"There is a general lack of understanding of the role that sport plays in Namibia and Africa at large. We fail to understand the contribution of sport to other sectors such as health and education, for instance. It has been proven that for each N$10 spent on sport, N$100 is saved on health care," he said.
He commended Old Mutual for supporting sport at grassroots level in Namibia, saying that to become a champion athletes had to go through a long process and many years of sacrifice.
"It's a process that takes a lot of investment and Old Mutual has shown that it is sincere in that role," he said.