I AM beginning to doubt the professional relationship between Athletics Namibia (AN), Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the National Olympic Committee (NOC).
I recall that I once emailed questions to one of the reputable sport administrators on a very pertinent matter but to my disappointment this particular sport administrator said he could not comment on the issue as it might offend some executive members of a certain national sport body. Really?
Mind you, the position held by this individual gave him the power to comment on any sport related matter, even if his comments were critical of other sport administrators. Simply, his position entitled him to be an authority on matters of sport. Red lights are still flickering. It appears people are more interested in not stepping on toes than on advancing the cause of athletes, which ever codes they may be from. Something is clearly not right when it comes to the relationships of sports administrators.
I am trying by all means to find what our sprinter, Tjipekapora Herunga might have done wrong to endure such unwarranted treatment from sport administrators who are bound by their terms of office to guarantee athletes’ participation in international events.
Somebody has to take the blame (swallow their pride) and explain why Herunga has to endure such humiliation just because these sport bodies could not reach an amicable solution on her Rio 2016 qualifications.
Other countries are doing all they can, within the laws and regulations governing their sports to have as many of their nationals qualify for international events. Some countries are even going as far as luring athletes to take citizenship of their countries just so they can participate in these events.
When Ronnie Kanalelo became a South African citizen in the 1990s to secure regular game time for Mamelodi Sundowns, he was labelled a sell-out and was treated with disdain. Same thing happened to Sherwin Vries when he exchanged his Namibian colours for Springbok colours. Elizabeth Mongudhi became a French citizen as she felt unappreciated in her own country, and so too a few other athletes who are quietly earning money by doing sport in the colours of other countries.
The decision not to recognise results of the All Africa Games was a Namibian decision, concocted in the NNOC and supported by our Ministry of Sport. This is a decision that could have been overturned easily because the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), International Association of Athletics (IAAF) both said they would recognise qualifying times met at the All Africa Games as they had no specific reservations against them. But here came Namibia to lock out one of her own. How sad.
I just pray that that decision does not come back to haunt us. Psychologically we have done a lot of damage to Herunga and many other youngsters who may have had dreams of representing their country at big competitions.
We should pray that none of these young Namibians are lured away by the dollar or the pound. If that happens, it will be a sad indictment on our sports administrators who seem to forget that the sole purpose of sitting in a sports office is to work in the interest of the athlete, nothing else. History, I suspect, will come back one day and it will judge us very harshly.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015