NOT every young Namibian athlete can afford good quality running shoes among the society and special foundation is working hard to provide children with the basics with regards to equipment.
Operi Tjipuka and Sydney Tjipuka took time and reached out to fulfil the dreams of young people who are passionate for athletics and cannot afford running shoes where they come up with a foundation named the Namibia Child Foundation.
Operi said they came up with the idea in April 2019, after a young athlete reached out to any good Samaritan to help her obtain new running shoes.
“As we got to the training camp, we noticed several more athletes who lacked basic equipment needs. Friends, family and acquaintances started giving donations and we were able to buy equipment for at least 10 more athletes, “said Operi.
She said the dream is to help as many underprivileged Namibian children as possible because she personally knows what it is like to have a need for proper equipment and she was fortunate enough to have been funded by the Frank Fredericks Foundation.
“During April 2019 Namibian athletes travelled to Eswatini and we raised close to N$23 000 for them. In 2020 we are busy with the Donate a Kick project and we have reached out again to society and asked people to donate their used but neat secondhand running shoes towards the foundation.”
According to Operi the sneakers will be donated at the National Championships on the 18th April. They have been overwhelmed with cash donations brand new sneakers and second hand pairs. They managed to wash the second hand shoes and they are ready to be used by enthusiastic athletes.
One example of the good work that the foundation does is Tjeripo Kapeta, who approached them to sponsor her daughter.
Kapeta said the foundation came through and raises close to N$3 500 with which she was able to acquire brand new running shoes as well as spikes.
“We are also busy speaking to the parents of Stephanie Katuzuva, a self-taught gymnast, who hails from Omusati region to see how we can help her daughter.”
The Donate a Kick campaign has already started and will run until the first week in April.