After 10 years of guiding and mentoring young girls in a male dominated field, the Head Coach of the Brave Gladiators, Jacqui Shipanga resigned from her position and informed the media at a packed NFA Girls Centre on Wednesday.
Announcing her resignation, Shipanga explained that she was not forced or pressured into resigning.
“It is a lot for one person to handle and it is not in the interest of women football in the long term, that one person after ten years is still responsible for all these important aspects of women football. It is time to take women football to the next level and make it more competitive and more inclusive’’ she said.
“Jackie Gertze and I have thought about this for over two years now, it was not a decision that was made recently. It was planned and well thought of. Change is a good thing, we should not fear it, but embrace it” added the optimistic coach.
She also revealed that she is positive that the coaches currently in place for the women’s teams are the best in the field.
Jacqui Shipanga may have resigned as the head coach for the Brave Gladiators but she will remain at the FA and help with the administrative work at the women department. Her new role includes scouting player’s country wide and training women who want to venture in the coaching field.
Gladiators Vice Captain Stacey Naris thanked her coach on behalf of the team as they are honored to have been mentored by Jacqui Shipanga.
In an emotional tribute the player said “today we would like to thank you for your time, commitment and unwavering dedication to this beautiful game and more importantly to player development. Thank you for pushing us to be the best we can be, especially in those time we were closest to giving up”.
“Today I might not have trophies of tournaments or competitions I have won but my trophies are my players excelling academically, playing professionally and succeeding in life” this quote for us is a motivation that has influenced us to go beyond the field, extending into the classroom, relationships and personal confidence”.
Brian Isaacs has taken over the Gladiators from Shipanga and has been with the ladies for too long, having assisted Shipanga during the 2014 CAF Women Championship held in Windhoek.
Women football in Namibia has grown tremendously over the years since the humble beginnings in 2007. The FA now has a number of female referees, female administrators and coaches. The NFA is running a Girls Centre that caters for female elite players.