EARLY this month, I attended a panel discussion on the state of sports in Namibia. One of the issues that struck me was the call by Deputy Minister of Sport for the Sports Act to be amended to effectively address the challenges that we are facing at the moment.
The deputy minister made some valid points. For instance, she advocated for equal representation of all demographics in the national sports teams. This has been one of the biggest challenges facing Namibian sport. Some sports teams and codes are exclusively for certain people. If that does not change, sport will not go anywhere.
However, as much as I am in support of the call for transformation, I must also say that I am disappointed that those with the power to do so are looking elsewhere for someone to get the ball rolling. Who must lead the amendment of the Sport Act, if not the Minister of Sport?
Talking about amendment which is a parliamentary process, I am disappointed that despite the fact that we have so many young people in Parliament, we hardly see or hear them talking about sport.
One would expect young parliamentarians to strongly advocate for the advancement of sport during their parliamentary contributions but they seem to be very disinterested in sport. One wonders why. Perhaps they do not know that sports could be one of the biggest employers of young people if it is transformed into a professional entity? Perhaps they do not know that many men and women depend on sport by selling food and other stuff during sport events. Even beverage and clothing companies make some of their profits from sport. They perhaps don’t know that too.
If they are not aware of the economic benefit of sport, perhaps they will be aware of the health and social benefits of sport? Fit youngsters focus better at school and parents spend less money on medication. That reduces strain on the health system. They don’t know that too?
The young parliamentarians definitely have no interest in problems affecting the youth, most importantly how we can be a winning sporting nation.
One situation that has threatened the fabric of our football loving sector of society was when the MTC set up conditions for the Namibia Premier League to source N$27 million for the next three years, and yet again none of this was discussed or brought up by any parliamentarian in both houses. Why?
If they are genuinely not interested in sport and what it holds for Namibia, they will become very interested very soon. With MTC announcing that it won’t be sponsoring football any more, we face the prospect of 450 young men joining the army of unemployed. Maybe the young parliamentarians want to be faced by a situation of young people camping on their porches seeking employment.
Although the number 450 seems insignificant to them, they must consider that these youngsters support large families from money earned from football.
And mind you, this is just football. What if the same fate befalls the other codes? How many thousands of unemployed men and women will we have on the streets?
Think about it, young parliamentarians.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015