22 February 2013

Namibia: Local Number One Squash Player Shares His Dreams

Being ranked the number one squash player in Namibia and having the opportunity to represent Namibia at international level are two of Tyc Kakehongo's personal greatest moments since he started playing the sport 23 years ago.

Currently the director of Squash Development in Namibia, Kakehongo started playing the sport at the tender age of 12 and he has not looked back since. "I was introduced to squash by a friend of mine when we schooled in Oranjemund, At the school we had different terms and each term we had to choose a different sport. This is how I got into the game when my friend invited me to try out Squash," he told the Economist this week.

According to Kakehongo, although the sport has been played in the country, not many people know about it. This is primarily because the sport is only available or accessible to a selected few that categorize it as an elite sport.

He said the biggest obstacle is making the sport available to the broader public and the community as a whole. Additionally, minimal facilities are available. "Currently squash court facilities are only available in the upmarket suburbs and not necessarily in areas such as Katutura and Khomasdal where the majority of the people live. So I guess that the general perception is obviously that squash is only played by a certain group of people and not by everybody," he said.

Kakehongo further said that another obstacle is that squash is not a sport that is widely played at schools because none of the schools in the country have squash court facilities. "Squash court facilities are very complex and expensive to set up. This is why you will find that it is very difficult to propose for even schools to try and build squash courts facilities," he added.

Kakehongo, who is also the coach for the Namibian Squash Team said Namibia's hosting the All Africa Senior Squash championships currently underway in the capital is a positive step as it puts Namibia and Namibian Squash on the international map.

"This event is being broadcasted and is being published globally and it gives our Namibian Squash community the opportunity to see and to interact Squash players on the continents. Its the first time, Namibia has hosted a continental event for the sport, it is a historical event for us," he said.

"I would like to encourage greater participation in the sport amongst more Namibians, Squash is a very exciting and time-wise it is very flexible. You can play it at any time regardless of the weather and it is a sport that can be enjoyed by both men and women, young and old so any body of able body can learn to play," he said.

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