By John Tuerijama
THE Namibia Basketball Federation (NBF) is in the midst of a leadership and funding crisis, the Confidente can reveal.
This was confirmed by NBF Secretary-General, Ramah Mumba, who said that the B-list sport code faces the key challenge of not having enough of the right people to run its affairs.
“Secondly, we are facing a funds shortage; these two go hand in hand, and without one of them it is difficult to develop the sport,” said Mumba.
He said that the NBF elective congress will only take place at the end of 2018.
“We really don’t have qualified people to run our affairs, professionally, as most are volunteers in the various positions. The volunteers will not perform their roles 100 percent, as they have other commitments,” said Mumba.
He admitted that having an elected body is a legal requirement of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), as the sport code does receive an annual grant from the commission.
However, Mumba argued that the N$30 000 grant it receives is not enough to cover the remuneration of the office administrator, as it normally caters for office stationery etc.
Basketball is among the 50- plus sport codes, affiliated to the NSC, which are yet to receive their 2017/18 annual grants.
On why Namibia has failed to participate in regional and international basketball competitions, Mumba attributed the unwanted scenario to a lack of manpower.
“It means that we do not have enough coaches and programmes in place, but with this challenge, we are taking the new direction of training coaches and officials, on a yearly basis. It will take about 10 years for us to start to compete on an international level,” he revealed.
Mumba brushed off allegations that NBF only prioritises basketball development in Windhoek. “No it’s not true, in fact we have not had a coaching clinic for so long; the last one we had was in 2012, which was for all the regions, and held in Windhoek.
“As of this year, we started in Windhoek with our very first coaching clinic, which took place on 20 May, and the next one is scheduled for July in Ongwediva, with at least two more coaching clinics slated for two other regions,” Mumba said.
He said basketball although predominant in Windhoek, it was also becoming popular in Walvis Bay, Ongwediva, Tsumeb and Grootfontein.
“Yes, Windhoek is the most popular and biggest, in terms of playing basketball. The plan is definitely to take basketball to more towns, by conducting coaching and officiating clinics, and having grassroots programs, focusing on primary schools,” said Mumba.
He said among the key priority areas this year will be the training of coaches and officials in between five to eight regions, which have a basketball presence, and also introducing three-a-side tournaments in these regions.
Mumba said they will have basketball programs and physical education lessons at primary school level, targeting those under the age of 11, as well as under-20 training camps during the school holidays.
On whether Namibia is endowed with talent to produce future basketball stars, Mumba said that the country indeed has talent.
He said once the NBF kicks off with its programmmes, and potential sponsors come onboard, the country will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
On the country’s regional leagues, Mumba said they normally start in March and conclude in October.
However, at the moment, all the leagues are on a month-long break. He said the senior league will start on 8 July, while the school league will kick off during the second week of June.
On the sponsorship difficulties, the SG said, “At the moment, and due to the fact that administratively we are not yet sorted out, as all positions are voluntary, it’s hard to get committed people to serve on the NBF executive. But with the programmes rolling out, we believe that slowly a few people and companies will jump onto the ship and start to support us financially.
“Looking at the future, we will definitely, God willing, establish a national basketball league; that is our ultimate goal in Namibia,” Mumba said.
As for the promotion of basketball, he said the sport was slowly growing, especially in schools.
He said they hoped to focus and invest most of their time into school basketball, because that is where the future is.
Mbumba added that once they have funds, they will spearhead a schools development programme.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015