THE problem of sports funding in sport is well known to most, if not all Namibians. It is the single most problem that affects the development of sports in this country. Hardly a week passes by without a sports club or federation complaining about lack of funding and how it stalls progress.
Over the past weeks, the story of MTC and its divorce from the Namibia Premier League was dissected and analysed until there was no juice in the lemon to squeeze. But still the problem lingers. It is simple, without money there can be no sports development. That song will be sung for as long as the status quo remains.
True, those who pump money into sports clubs and federations demand accountability and/or visibility of their products. They want full attendance of events, wherever they are hosted. That is all in order. Anyone who puts money into something wants a return for their investment. And they expect reports of the activities and how their money was spent.
However, we all know that a good number of sports clubs and federations are not exactly known for reporting back to their benefactor about how they have spent hard earned profits. Here and there, stories are told of individuals who have gone on a jolly ride with money meant for one or other sports event. Whether it is true has not been confirmed but such stories only serve to create a perception in the minds of those who have the cash to sponsor sports events.
Notwithstanding, in a country where sport primarily depends on the goodwill of Government and corporate Namibia, administrators should learn to account for the funds entrusted to them, no matter how little it may be. Poor accounting leads to mistrust and mistrust leads to closing of sponsorship taps. That then results in the real beneficiaries, the athletes suffering massively. Without beating about the bush, administrators must learn to account and use funds wisely.
Business leaders go around saying they cannot commit funds to a code or a club because they fear that they will not be told how the money was used. And such statements become general. The entire sports fraternity is viewed as being unaccountable. That is indeed not fair.
While lack of funds is and remains a challenge for the foreseeable future, the situation presents an opportunity for sports leaders to do a proper introspection and start putting into place mechanisms to earn the trust of those who make their wheels roll smoothly.
For sports to become a serious contributor to Namibia’s GDP, it needs the involvement of business and in turn business needs to be assured that they are putting their money where it will make the greatest social impact.
If that does not happen, we can forget about sports playing a meaningful role as a catalyst for growth and development in this country.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015