FNB Namibia deserves a pat on the back, for their heroic intervention, which resulted in our national Paralympic team jetting off to London for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) championships.
FNB Namibia came to the rescue, when our start-studded national team were caught between a hard place and the rock, and faced the very real prospect of missing out on the global showpiece.
We all know that government is struggling financially, and it’s no secret that many of our national teams might not compete internationally, because of financial constraints.
The situation looks bleak indeed, and FNB Namibia’s decision to inject a cool N$220 000 into the national Paralympic team last week, comes as a revelation.
This money allowed our stars to compete, and Ananias Shikongo’s silver medal in the men’s T11 100m final has put welcome smiles on many Namibian faces. What an awesome gesture by FNB Namibia, and their investment has undoubtedly shown that aligning oneself with the very best, pays off handsomely.
We have a country blessed with talented young men and women, who are focused on putting Namibia on the world sport map.
However, this can only be achieved if both the government and the private sector invest in our sport. It is to be commended when a private company, especially one in the banking sector, selects a sport code that they truly want to be associated with, and its stars become their brand ambassadors.
FNB Namibia’s corporate social responsibility spending speaks volumes about its passion to uplift the country, and we thank it for its vision and assistance, when it comes to taking our sport to the next level.
The bank also sponsors the FNB Classic Clashes, which grows netball, rugby and football at school level, and gives scouts and opportunity to identify rising talent in the country.
The banking institution is also tremendously involved in sponsoring some of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) national teams.
I was shocked to learn that the Namibia Football Association (NFA) spent N$2.5 million when the Brave Warriors travelled to Guinea-Bissau early recently for their 2019 Afcon qualifier.
The NFA only received an annual grant of N$ 3.3 million from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), and the Brave Warriors are still left with several qualifiers for Afcon and the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Money has to be sourced from somewhere or Namibia risks being banned from either FIFA or the Confederation of African Football (CAF), if we fail to honour our international obligations.
This unfortunate situation forces one to think carefully. Our sport administrators need to ask themselves where they will get the money to compete internationally, and plan accordingly.
The national women’s hockey team has qualified for the World Cup, and the question is: Has the National Hockey Union secured the needed funds to send the team to the global spectacle?
Does the NSC have plans in place to ensure that they engage the private sector?
I’m sure that by now, the NSC knows which sport codes have to meet their international obligations.
This situation requires an urgent indaba with all stakeholders, on how to source the funds to secure maximum participation on an international level.
We need a Sport Trust Fund that can cater for situations such as the one we had with the Paralympic national team.
What would have happened if FNB Namibia did not come to their rescue?
We cannot have a repeat of this kind of thing going forward, where teams are left agitated and stressed, as they face the prospect of staying at home.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Shikongo, for a well-deserved silver medal.
And thanks once again, FNB Namibia!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015