LET me first of all congratulate the newly appointed chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission, Freddy Mwiya, for the new chapter that has opened in his professional life. His appointment has given sports federations and umbrella bodies renewed hope that things will improve on the funding front. With such hopes, unfortunately, comes expectations which Mwiya would have to shoulder and the sad part of it is that lack of funding of sports has been elevated to a national problem that no one individual can solve. Not that I am being pessimistic but the reality on the ground is that there is no money, and I guess the bit that is in the coffers of the NSC is simply to remunerate their staff.One rather unfortunate reality that the new chief administrator has to face head-on is the political reluctance of the two heads in the Ministry of Sport to earnestly solicit funds that could in other words help take sport to another level. Unfortunately, I see a situation where sport codes and umbrella bodies will continue to struggle financially. The only shortcoming that prevents sport codes from prospering is the lack of funds to invest into their athletes, and if Government through its sports ministry, cannot reconcile with the need to pump more money into sport, we can forget about producing world class athletes. Mwiya, a karateka of note, is expected to report for duty only on April 1 2017, around five weeks from now but already the brother’s plate is already full and the expectations on him are ever increasing. His three-year tenure will be measured by how smoothly he has managed the relationship with the politicians and the leaders of the sports federations and umbrella bodies. Quite a tough balancing act to perform but the extension of his term will be dependent on how he juggles all those interests in the absence of sufficient funding. One other priority for the new chief administrator is to hasten the passing of the amended Sports Act by pressuring the sports minister to have it debated in Parliament and signed into law. Actually, the sooner it happens the better. President Hage Geingob, during his New Year’s address gave hope that things will improve if the sports law is enacted. Here is what the President said: “The state of affairs in the sports sector remains a concern to all sport loving Namibians. To this end, the line Ministry will conclude its review of the Sports Act and Policy, aiming to define and prioritise the national sport codes, which will guide funding and development.” Mwiya will be directly responsible to ensure that the review is concluded and that his political bosses take the laws to Parliament for passing. No delay in executing that process will be appreciated by sports federations and umbrella bodies. For far too long, they have been waiting for this new sports law to take effect.As part of the Commission’s reforms, Mwiya will also take charge of the re-categorisation of sports codes. That is another challenge he must deal with upon taking office and it will definitely not be an easy one. Funding, I have heard, will be on the basis of this re-categorisation with the A-listed codes getting preferential funding. If that succeeds, .
But the bottom line is that he must receive every stakeholder’s support and he must get the necessary funding from Government to implement the sports development agenda. Government will probably repeat its ‘economic challenges’ hymn but that begs another question. When there was no economic crisis, why was sports not sufficiently funded? What will change now, or even if things improve? That is the main question and the answer is simply that Government must change its attitude to sports.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015