WINDHOEK: Namibian ‘Golden Girl’ Johanna Benson on Friday received the prestigious Sports Achiever of the Year Award during the 2012 MTC/NSC Sports Awards’ ceremony in the capital.
Benson also received the Disabled Sportswoman of the Year Award, while her coach Michael Hamukwaya won the Coach of the Year Award.
These top honours were bestowed on Benson for her achievements during the 2012 Paralympic Games held in London, England from 29 August to 09 September.
Benson won gold and silver medals in the T37 200m and 100m sprints, respectively.
Another 2012 Paralympian, Ananias Shikongo, was crowned Disabled Sportsman of the Year, while professional boxer Paulus Ambunda and long-distance runner Helalia Johannes were honoured as Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, respectively.
Boxing referee Herman !Garus-Oab was chosen as the Referee of the Year, while the Development Programme Award went to the Namibia Golf Federation.
Cricket Namibia received the accolade for Team of the Year.
Athlete Globine Mayova was honoured as the Most Improved Sportsperson and Natascha Rottcher as the Junior Sportswoman for Waterski, while tennis player Tuki Jacobs as Junior Sportsman.
Jacky Gertze received the Administrator of the Year Award for her role in developing football among women.
Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, Pohamba Shifeta, who was the guest of honor, said it is about time that Namibians understand that sport has become an industry in the country.
He said those that participate in sports, especially the youth, must refrain from alcohol and drugs as this will ruin their sports careers.
Referring to Benson’s international achievements, he said her medals are clear indication of her dedication to be the best in her discipline.
Tim Ekandjo, chief of human capital and corporate affairs at Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), said during the occasion that although MTC had enough controversy over the past two weeks, the company remains a true partner of all sports bodies, including Disability Sport Namibia (DSN), and extended a hand of friendship to DSN and its leadership.
DSN earlier this week blasted the judging panelists of the MTC/Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Sports Awards for not allowing Benson to compete in the 2012 Sportswoman of the Year category, despite allowing her to do so in 2010.