WE have learned this week that the Ministry of Sport has appointed two former sports commissioners, Elize Petersen and Amos Shiyuka, to assess the status of Namibian sport. I was further made to understand that the two-member task team will produce a remedial sports intervention plan after it has done its assessment.
A remedial plan can be anything. It can mean restructuring the manner in which sports are run in this country, or it can simply mean raising the necessary funding to finance sports programmes.
Whichever way, the appointment of the two sports personalities should be welcomed with open arms by the sports fraternity. What bothers me a little bit is why the ministry has not issued a public announcement with regard to these appointments.
It is imperative for the sport fraternity to understand the role and the objective of the two-member committee, and perhaps to be informed on the timeline of their work. How closely will this taskforce work with the Namibia Sports Commission? Most importantly, this task team should not be seen or be used to take over the work of the sports commission. Also, it should not undermine the credibility of the sports commission. But be that as it may, the task team should now know that all eyes are on them.
After receiving criticism after criticism from the public, the Sports Ministry has finally demonstrated its willingness to do something about the calamitous state of affairs in Namibian sport. That is a decision that needs to be applauded by the sports fraternity.
I have it on good authority that 10 codes or federations were selected for this assessment and that the majority of them have already made their representations to the task team and that what lays ahead is to speak to corporates to buy into the remedial plan.
I have no doubt into the ability and experience of both Petersen and Shiyuka to really assess and present a true reflection of why our sport bodies are stagnant, thus failing to produce world class athletes.
As I stated above, this task team was not officially announced to us and therefore it is difficult to say which 10 codes they are focusing on. However, I would like them to also cast an eye on the Boxing Control Board where things do not seem to be going well. Week in and week out we hear of financial mismanagement and infighting among people who are entrusted to lead professional boxing to higher heights.
If there is one code where Namibian has made inroads, it is professional boxing but the challenges faced by the code are threatening to undo all the gains of the past.
We have a good number of female boxers who want to become professional boxers but there are a lot of stumbling blocks in their way. One of those is the Boxing and Wrestling Act which prohibits women from boxing. The Act is archaic and does not address the current needs. I heard a draft was sent to Parliament to amend the old one but there has been deafening silence in that regarding.
The Petersen and Shiyuka task team must get the boxing commission to accelerate the submission of the new Act to Parliament so that female boxers can also start enjoying the fruits of this country’s independence.
I wish the task team all the best in their efforts to turn around the ailing fortunes of Namibian sport. I also hope that unlike the sports conference whose resolutions are yet to be implemented, this task team will bear fruits within the shortest space of time.
We have events such as the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games, and we need to be adequately prepared and resourced to take on the continent and the world. Time for napping is over.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015