Athletic therapy: Kruger, the unsung heroine

By Michael Uugwanga

BEHIND every great sports team, there is an even better training staff member and that is exactly the description of the Namibian Olympic Games team physiotherapy Anna-Mart Kruger.

Kruger was appointed by the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), and often credit evades her for the work she has done for team Namibia, as the praises are all going to athletes and their coaches.

At the just ended Olympics, Kruger was hard at work – taping, bracing, conducting physical rehab to athletes who need the extra attention, and providing necessary advice in order for the team to stay healthy over a rigorous campaign.

Evidently, the dedication of Kruger showed to the athletes while ensuring peak performance was second to none.

The 43-year-old was born in Windhoek but lived in South Africa for 13 years before returning to Namibia in 2004.

Said Kruger: “It has been an incredible experience to work with coach Henk Botha and these wonderful two individuals (Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi). I am so grateful to have contributed to the team as their physiotherapist.”

Kruger holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Movement from University of Northwestern and a BSC in Physiotherapy from University of the Free State.

She has a special interest in sport injuries and musculoskeletal conditions and Mboma’s medal win was a contribution made by Kruger who had to make sure that Mboma and other athletes were injury free.

“Medal (silver medal) is a bonus. To contribute to something spectacular that is what it is all about. The team worked so hard,” said Kruger.

“I have always enjoyed athletics but my main sport was field hockey in which I earned provincial colours while living in South Africa. Currently I am a very keen mountain biker and I also enjoy the speed of the road bike. My focus is on being healthy and enjoying the camaraderie of our Cycles4U team and other friends at the coast.”

The other athletes that participated at the just ended Olympic Games but failed to win medals were Reinhold Thomas (marathon), Helalia Johannes (marathon), Tristan de Lange (cycling) Vera Looser (cycling) Alex Miller (cross-country cycler),Michelle Vorster (cross-country cycler), Maike Diekmann (rowing), Phillip Seidler (open water swimmer) and Jonas Junias Jonas (boxer).