Para swimmers excited and ready for nationals

For the first time in the history of Namibian swimming, four physically challenged swimmers will participate in the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Swimming Championships taking place at the Olympia Swimming Pool in Windhoek from Thursday, 23 February until Sunday, 26 February 2023. The event will see 184 athletes from six clubs and the International Paralympic Committee participating in 1628 entries with 17 individual and five relay events. It is sanctioned by World Para Swimming and supported by the Namibia National Paralympic Committee (NNPC).

The four swimmers are twenty-nine-year-old Mateus Angula, twenty-six-year-old Caitlin Botha, eighteen and fifteen-year-olds Jerome Rooi and Namasiku van der Linden.

Angula is an accomplished para swimmer who won his first medal in 2018 at the Kenya National Paralympic Committee (KNPC) National Open and Para Swimming Championships. He has represented Namibia on the international swimming stage at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico (2017), Great Britain (2019) and Portugal). ​

Botha has been a para swimmer since 2016 and has participated in regional competitions. She also works as an assistant at the Dolphins Swimming Club. Botha is set to be reclassified in Europe this year as there are no classification events for para swimmers in Africa, necessitating foreign travel and the expense that it entails.

Rooi and van der Linden are both new to para swimming and are set to be classified this year. Classification will allow them to compete regionally and internationally. They participated in the 2022 Namibian Swimming Federation's (NASFED) Namibian National Short Course Championship in Swakopmund. However, their first Long Course National Championship will be this weekend's competition.

The Namibian para swimmers are excited and ready to show off their abilities at the Olympia Swimming Pool and look forward to the support from the Namibian public for Para Swimming. Entrance to the event is free.

Para Swimming is the sport term used for swimmers with a physical, visual or intellectual impairment. The first step towards being a para swimmer is to join a swimming programme. Once able to swim and race the next step is for a swimmer is to be classified.

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