Erik Hoffmann and Beata Naigambo were announced as Namibia’s sportsman and woman of the year at the Nambia Sport Awards on Friday evening.
Cyclist Hoffmann pipped cricketer Gerrie Snyman to the post after some exceptional performances abroad this year. Hoffman came 22nd in the road race at the Olympic Games, second overall in the Tour de Korea and second overall in the Tour of Thailand. He also came fifth in the Tour de Taiwan and sixth in the Tour of East Java.
Hoffmann was not present since he is competing abroad, but his mother Monika accepted the award on his behalf. She seemed stunned, saying she did not expect the award but then thanked all the people who had played a role in Hoffmann’s success, especially his former coach Hella Rust, who was also a finalist for the coach of the year award.
The other finalists were boxer Jafet Uutoni, who won the award in 2006 and 2005, endurance rider Frans Saubek and soccer player Jamu Ngatjizeko.
Naigambo was also taken aback, saying that she never expected to win the award and then thanked veteran athletics administrator Hannes von Holtz for his support in her career.
Naigambo, who came 28th in the women’s marathon at the Beijing Olympic Games, beat fellow marathon runner Helalia Johannes and middle distance athlete Agnes Samaria to the post. The other women finalists were archer Beatrix van der Merwe, soccer player Salome Iiyambo and gymnast Ramona Beukes.
It was a successful night for cricket as they won the Team of the Year award, the Development Programme of the Year, while cricketer Raymond van Schoor won the Junior Sportsman of the Year award.
The cricket team is currently playing in the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Ireland in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The 16-year-old Bonita Bredenhann, who has been Namibia’s top women’s golfer for the past three years won the Junior sportswoman of the year award, while 16-year-old swimmer Daniela Lindemeier won the Most Improved Sportsperson of the Year award.
Boxing trainer Nestor Tobias won the Coach of the Year award for taking two of his boxers, Ali Nuumbembe and Paulus Moses to world title fights, that they will contest within the next month.
The head of women’s football at the NFA, Jackey Gertze won the Administrator of the Year award, while soccer referee Matthew Katjimune won the Referee of the Year award for the second year in a row.
The award winners were as follows:
Sportsman of the year: Erik Hoffmann – cycling
Sportswoman o the year: Beata Naigambo – athletics
Junior sportsman of the year: Raymond van Schoor – cricket
Junior sportswoman of the year: Bonita Bredenhann – golf
Team of the year: Cricket
Most improved sportsperson of the year: Daniela Lindemeier – swimming
Coach of the year: Nestor Tobias – boxing
Referee of the year: Matthew Katjimune – soccer
Administrator of the year: Jackey Gertze – soccer
Development Programme of the year: Cricket