Coca Cola doles out 140,000 Namibian Dollars for Frank Fredericks Meet

Submitted by Namibia Sport on 31 March 2010 - 3:24pm

Coca Cola has announced a sponsorship of N$140 000 for the Coca Cola Frank Fredericks Invitational Athletics Meeting which will take place for the 14th consecutive year on Friday, April 9.

The event will see the top eight junior athletes in the country competing against each other in selected field and track events, according to the Namibia Sport.

At Tuesday's launch, the event organiser Quinton Steele Botes said that it had grown in stature from humble beginnings in 1997, when Coca Cola sponsored it to an amount of N$40 000.

Since then Coca Cola steadily increased its annual sponsorship, while it also added a scholarship grant of N$25 000 for top athletes as part of its total sponsorship.

To date more than 3 500 athletes have participated in the event, while 140 athletes have received scholarships which have been administered by the Frank Fredericks Foundation.

The event will see the top junior athletes in each event competing against each other, irrespective of their age categories.

Fredericks said that the event gives juniors of various age groups the opportunity to compete against each other and to find out who is the best in each event in Namibia.

"I'm very excited about this event - we've done this successfully for the past 14 years and I'm proud to say that the partnership is working well," he said.

Fredericks added that the importance of education was emphasised and to this end, half of an athlete's scholarship had to go towards educational expenses.

"Half of an athlete's scholarship can be used for sports equipment, while half has to go towards their education. We know this will go a long way towards getting a decent education and we will also try to find mentors for the athletes to help them pass their exams," he said.

The managing director of Namibia Beverages Frik Oosthuizen said it was a privilege for Coca Cola to be part of the project, saying that they had proven international winners running the project.

"There is no doubt that the Coca Cola Frank Fredericks Invitational has become the flagship athletics event in Namibia and in this event the best people have come together.

"Frank Fredericks was not only a world class athlete, but today he is a world class administrator. Quinton Steele Botes is a top sport administrator in southern Africa, Africa and even in the world, while Coca Cola is the number one soft drink in southern Africa, Africa and the world," he said.

Oosthuizen said they would continue sponsoring the event and would try to increase their sponsorship in the future.

"Our cheque is small, but our hearts are big so maybe we can make it a bigger cheque next year," he said.

Following last weekend's Coca Cola National Schools Athletics Championships, the top athletes in the various events were selected to compete at the Coca Cola Frank Fredericks Invitational Meet.

The event will also serve as a qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games which take place in Singapore in August this year.