… NSC boss urges sport codes to cover 30 percent of their expenses
By John Tuerijama
THE cash-strapped Namibia Sports Commission, whose budget was cut by a massive N$17 million – from N$38.7 million to N$21.6 million in the 2017/18 financial year – has urged the country’s 57 sport codes to reduce its 100 percent dependence on the mother body.
In a wide-ranging interview with Confidente this week,
NSC Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya, who took office in April this year, said that at least 30 percent of an individual sport code’s expenses, including international travel, should be covered by themselves.
He also confirmed that only three sport codes, who had not supplied the NSC with their correct banking details, had not been paid their annual grant for 2017/18.
Mwiya said that current economic headwinds facing government and the corporate sector were having a massive impact on sport, including on what businesses could give in terms of their corporate social responsibility programmes.
“It is very sad indeed, but we are not giving up, as things will soon change for the better. Our economy is making a comeback soon. I know our corporate brothers and sisters understand the value of sport, when we approach them for help, but we remain accountable and honest about how we utilise the money given. Let athletes benefit, as the money is not meant for administrators to travel in luxury. Rather let it go to the athletes,” Mwiya said. When asked about the decline in international participation by the country’s traditionally popular sport codes, due to the economic crunch, the sport administrator said that there has been an increase in other, less recognisable codes, participating on international platforms. He said that these sport codes are making the country proud. Mwiya admitted that the participation of traditionally featured sport codes had declined internationally, but said that this was because teams could no longer be sent simply to participate, and the yardstick was now whether they could win medals for the country.
Asked if money had been set aside for the travelling and other costs for amateur boxers Jonas Junias Jonas and Matheus Amunyela, who have both qualified for the International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Boxing Championship, slated for Hamburg, Germany later this month, Mwiya cryptically said that it was not only boxing that needs money, but all other Namibian sport codes.“I call upon sports administrators of the different codes to work, as others are doing. It is a well-known fact that our budget has been slashed. We fully paid for all their (Indongo and Amunyela’s) costs, when they went to Congo-Brazzaville in June (to compete at the AIBA African Boxing Championship). This included flights, accommodation and meals,” said Mwiya.
“They were the fortunate ones, among the sport codes, and we fully paid for their expenses. I had a meeting with their president Benjamin Rebank and they are working to help us, as there are many Namibians in sport who need help, but the resources to satisfy those needs are very limited and scarce. Therefore, we need to move away from 100 percentage dependence (on the NSC) to that of 70 percent and 30 percent (from individual sport codes).” Commenting the Namibia’s senior rugby team winning the Africa Gold Cup recently, Mwiya said this showed that the code is healthy. “I was happy to see the Rainbow Nation in unison, as people of all colours supported the team. That was good for Namibia. I even invited them to my office and we had a great meeting last week. If I had money like the ocean, you could see what I could have recommended for the team. But unfortunately the ocean is dry,” said Mwiya.
He also expressed satisfaction over the national women’s hockey team’s qualification for the Indoor Hockey World Cup, which takes place in Berlin, Germany next year.
“They made us proud, and we shall sit with the executive to discuss (the way forward). It will not be a public discussion. They (the hockey administrators) are capable leaders, I can tell you. They are also already busy with the assignment (of getting team to Germany), and we shall see how best we can come on board.” Mwiya added that the launch of the MTC/ NSC Sports Awards, slated for October, will take place soon, before adding that international achievements of Julius ‘Blue Machine” Indongo, the national rugby team, the country’s Paralympians and many others would be up for recognition during the awards ceremony, which would “definitely be taking place”.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015