Namibia’s Gymnastics Federation charts new course

Sonja Olivier to lead the Gymnastics Federation of Namibia after elections on Saturday.

Sonja Olivier is expected to lead the Gymnastics Federation of Namibia for the next five years after being elected executive president at Karibib on Saturday.

The former secretary general will be deputised by Naville Andre, with the guidance of veteran administrator Valereis Geldenhuys-Venter, who retained her position as honorary president of the federation.

Olivier narrowly beat Andre, who did not attend the elective annual general assembly, to the top seat by 10 votes to nine.

Andre in turn beat new vice president for finance Sharifa Wentworth to the deputy president’s position by the same votes’ count.

The assembly was hosted under the collaboration of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), with supervision from the GFN interim committee, which is made up of Martie Opperman, Dione Dichtl and Tessa Rossouw.

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Sports executive director Emma Kantema-Gaomas and national sports director Sivhute Katamba were also in attendance.

The new leadership is subject to ratification by the International Gymnastics Federation.

Close to 50 delegates and 19 clubs in good standing attended the “largest and most important gathering on the GFN calendar”, which the NNOC and NSC “deemed a great success”.

“The elections were free and fair, and all parties were happy with the outcome. The first priority of the newly elected executive will be to organise a workshop in order to review the GFN constitution to be in line with the current legal requirements, being the Sports Act and the consultation of the International Gymnastics Federation,” the observers said in a joint statement.

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Also on the new GFN Council are Meagan Bierbach (vice president – public relations), Wietsa Snyman (vice president – liaison), Djamel Meziane (section president – men’s artistic gymnastics), Shariefa Mouton (section president – women’s artistic gymnastics), Leonie Botes (section president – rhythmic gymnastics), Vaughan Ahrens (section president – trampoline and tumbling), Marianne Bock (section president – aerobic gymnastics), Selene William (secretary general), Vesselin Kostin (national technical director) and Nicolene Labuschagne (national medical director).

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