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With a hectic sporting calendar awaiting para-athletes, the secretary general of the Namibia Paralympics Committee, Michael Hamukwaya, has appealed for an early release of the required funds for athletes to start with timely preparations.

The local sporting calendar for Namibian para-athletes is set to kick off this weekend at the coast, with a track and field competition. Meanwhile, the first international event is scheduled for March in South Africa, where the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled competition will take place.

The All African games in Ghana, as well as the world championship in Paris in July are amongst the major competitions on the calendar.

Hamukwaya said they also want to branch out to different sport codes and not just focus on track and field.

Adaptive Cycling, Triathlon, Swimming and Powerlifting are the codes the Committee currently offers its athletes.

With all the excitement about upcoming competitions, he said funding remains a pertinent issue.

Namibia is ranked 53 out of the over one-hundred countries affiliated with the International Paralympics Committee.

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Katrina //Gowases