Great heights of success without limits

Para-athlete Bradley Murere
Apart from the Berlin Grandprix, Murere has represented Namibia at eight international events, in Europe as well as South Africa.
Precious Nghitaunapo
Bradley Murere (19) is a Namibian para-athlete, who started competing at a very young age but only began taking athletics seriously as a career in 2017, when his aunt Petronella /Uiras encouraged him to try it out. Ever since he stepped onto the track with a mindset of athletics as a career, “everything started falling into place,” he said.

Murere stepped onto the track as a para-athlete in 2018, to represent Namibia in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He scooped a flourishing gold in both 100m and 200m. That event was followed by a series of successes that led to the start of Murere’s career as a successful, gold-winning para-athlete. Murere’s first international competition was in Germany at the Berlin Grandprix.

He says it was one of his proudest moments and an experience he will never forget because he “got onto the podium twice for the 100m and 200m at the age of just 16 against senior athletes.”

Apart from the Berlin Grandprix, Murere has represented Namibia at eight international events, in Europe as well as South Africa. Like any other athlete, Murere experiences these events as quite nerve-wracking and pressure-filled. For him, it’s important to make his country proud. He explained that the “nerves and pressure is always different, because the bigger the event, the more pressure I feel, but all of them are approached with the same mindset which is to do my best.”

Behind the scenes of success are hours of hard work, sweat and tears. Murere trains twice a day throughout the week with his coach Ulla Finkeldey and Jana van Zyl. He explained that running on the track alone is not sufficient to reach success. Competing at an elite level requires high-performance training, such as strength, stability, balance and most importantly, mental training, which separates champions from ordinary athletes.

Finkeldey, also the sports director of the MTC Dome, said the main purpose is to develop people and assist athletes to develop their full potential.

“Bradley is physically and emotionally ready for whatever he puts his mind to. He is in the top 10 of the world and it’s time to show what he trained for over the past five years. He is an amazing, mature, hardworking and positive young man and ready for the next step. He always shines and is a role model to many - he will make us all proud,” she says.

Looking forward

Bouncing back from a difficult 2021 season, which was filled with self-doubt and a lower back injury, Murere was able to overcome these challenges and achieve a personal best of 11.08 seconds and a personal best jump of 6.26m in the long jump.

Many big competitions are lined up next year, including the World and African championships, but at the moment all energy is focused on the Commonwealth games taking place at the end of this month. Coach Ulla confirmed that sadly only two para-athletes are attending the Commonwealth Games - Ananias Shikongo and Bradley.

“We have so many talented athletes performing well. We really need to do more to offer more professional coaching and correct sports governance to our Namibian sports talents,” she said.

The Swakopmund resident completed his primary education at Namib Primary and proceeded to Namib High School, where he completed his secondary education in 2020. One of his biggest challenges was not believing in himself and listening to all the negative comments of others around him. He said that discipline has brought him this far. He added that he is a big fan of football.

Coach Ulla extended her gratitude to the Pupkewitz Foundation, the Swakopmund municipality and the MTC Dome for assisting Bradley and herself for the past year.