The 2013 The Namibian Newspaper Cup was held in Otjiwarongo the “Cheetah Capital of the World” over Easter weekend this year. In light of being selected as the site of this year’s under-20 regional soccer championship, Otjiwarongo decided to highlight their reputation for being the home to the world’s fastest animal by inviting the Cheetah Conservation Fund to be a part of this national tournament.
CCF set up a tent at the main entrance to the stadium which provided information about cheetahs and the conservation efforts CCF employs to help ensure the survival of the cheetah. In addition to educational services, the tent served as an arts and crafts center for children, and also offered cheetah face painting. The tent was very popular and at any given time throughout the four-day festival there were several children making cheetah ears and waiting in line to have their faces painted.
CCF also provided decorations for the field and two cheetah mascots. Three cheetah statues were on display on the field, and the mascots ran onto the field with the teams and had their pictures taken with the teams and the player of the match. This year’s winner was the host region – Otjozondjupa. The event was attended by thousands of fans. We were graced with the presence of Namibia’s Prime Minister Dr Hage Geongob and other cabinet ministers who attended the final event. Despite the rainfall over the weekend, spectators cheered for their teams and players’ morale was as sharp as a hunting predator. We are very grateful to the organizers of the tournament for allowing us to participate. They worked so hard to make such a wonderful event, and we were proud to be part of it.