THE Quinton Steele-Botes Athletics Coaching and Training Camp takes place for the 28th successive year at Windhoek's Independence Stadium from Tuesday till Friday.
The camp was started in 1993 by Steele-Botes, the late sport coach and administrator who passed away in 2014 after a long struggle with cancer.
Since then, Athletics Namibia member Leonie van Rensburg has taken over the organisation of the camp which has been attended by some top coaches and athletes over the years.
"It was Quinton's dream to train and develop coaches from across Namibia. It is a privilege to host the 28th camp this year, which will be a special camp with a lot of new additions," she said.
"Qualified coaches will be brought in from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town to develop Namibian coaches and athletes from all areas of our country," she added.
Some of the South African coaches who will attend the camp include high jump coach Jonathan Greyvenstein, who coached former world champion Jacques Freitag; Charley Strohmenger, who coached former South African long jump champion Karen May; Wimpie Nel, who coached South African junior world champion 110m hurdler Andries van der Merwe; and Roger Haitengi, the Namibian triple jump champion, who is currently a coach and athletics manager at the University of Johannesburg.
They will be joined by some of Namibia's top coaches like Henk Botha (discus and shot put), Christo Swart (long distance) and Nico Cronje (javelin), as well as the Lucky Gawanab, Sherwin Vries, FC Pieters, Karlien Botha, Antoinette Nel, Karin Swanepoel and Tangeni Nakale who will coach primary school and pre-primary school athletes.
According to Van Rensburg the camp will be attended by some of Namibia's top up-and-coming athletes like Beatrice Masilingi from Rundu, who won two gold medals (200m and 400m) at the Southern African Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius last year; Coena Kuhn, a 17-year-old shot put and discus specialist from Outjo; Ryk Erasmus a 15-year-old sprinter from Otjiwarongo; Amore Nel, a 16-year-old javelin thrower from Keetmanshoop; Ida Marie Smeer, a 17-year-old high jumper from Windhoek; and Heino Keister, a 17-year-old high jumper from Keetmanshoop.
"The QSB athletics coaching and training initiative would like to continue to support and develop the less fortunate coaches and athletes from the outlying rural areas in Namibia and at the same time keep Quinton Steele Botes' dream alive of granting the less fortunate an equal opportunity," Van Rensburg said.
She also thanked the main sponsor, Marathon Sugar, and several others, who have been an integral part of the camp's success over the years.
"Marathon Sugar has for many years been the main sponsor of the QSB coaching and training camps. Their interest in funding athletics courses and training camps has always been to benefit previously disadvantaged young Namibians, with the aim to give less fortunate children an equal opportunity to excel in sport as those who are more fortunate," she said.
Other sponsors who have come on board in recent years include Avis Car Rental, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Food Lovers Market, Caterserve, Gondwana, OTB Sport, Safari Hotel, Walton's Stationary, Hyundai, Crystal Gold, APS and Woodlands Dairy.
The registration of athletes will start at 12h00 on Tuesday, while the official opening will follow at 14h00.
The training and coaching sessions will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, while the camp will conclude with an athletics competition and the closing ceremony at 13h00 on Friday.
More information can be obtained from Van Rensburg at 0811271193.