By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA National Olympic Committee (NNOC) President, Abner Xoagub, has called on local sport administrators to ensure that their athletes compete in events that will see them qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, slated for Queensland, Australia between 4 and 15 April next year.
Xoagub told Confidente this week that the qualification criteria had already been sent to all federations in February last year.
“We are also busy with resource mobilisation, to assist the sport codes and their athletes,” said Xoagub.
He said the NNOC has also submitted its budget to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, ahead of the country’s preparation and participation in the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the 2018 African Youth Games, the 2019 All-African Games and the 2018 Olympic Games.
“With the cuts in the country’s sport budget, we need to sit around the table with stakeholders and strategise how and where we will get the money,” he said.
“With the financial challenges we are experiencing, we do not have the luxury to take big teams; we need to tighten our qualification criteria and stick to only those athletes who have a likelihood of getting to the podium.
“The limited resources should be spent on the few top athletes who can win medals at national, regional and international games, and in saying that, certainly the team sizes will go down,” Xoagub stressed.
He has also mooted a budget indaba, at which the different stakeholders can strategise a way forward.
Discussions will be held soon about when the indaba will take place.
“As soon as we have a general indaba to reprioritise and re-strategise, we need to look at the annual plan of the Directorate of Sport, and directives from the Sport and Recreational Bill.”
Xoagub is of the opinion that the country’s sport codes should submit their international programmes during budget indaba, so consensus can be reached.
He said that there are a number of elements to be considered, to determine how much exactly is needed for international participation.
He said the NNOC may engage international federations, the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Association, for funding.
Commenting further on the country’s sporting budget cuts, Xoagub said that things need to be looked at from a global economic perspective, rather than a domestic position.
“When times are tough, we always learn to prioritise and re-programme; we need to go back to the basics, as government is busy with compiling its Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5). We are in a very fortunate situation, where we must harmonise the ministerial five-year strategic plan, with the NDP5. “We are also in the process of reviewing the Sports Act, as it is very key that these three documents talk to each other,” he stressed.
“It cannot be business as usual in our sport. We need to review the structures and responsibilities. Local and international stakeholders and partners need to be engaged more closely, and we must identify opportunities we can capitalise on and mobilise more resources for sport development, participation, competition and excellence,” he said.
Xoagub said the previous budgets of the Directorate of Sport and the Namibia Sports Commission need to be interrogated, to see what amounts went to which components of sport in the country.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015