THE year 2017 was a challenging one for sport, and it is imperative that during 2018, the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), in conjunction with the government, through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, and the private sector must ensure that our athletes are thoroughly prepared for international events.
Glancing back to last year, I must give recognition to Nestor Tobias, who is fast making his name as Africa’s Don King, for having produced a now former world champion, in the form of Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, and I must also applaud the national women’s hockey team, who will be the continent’s sole representative at Indoor World Cup, which is slated for Berlin next month.
Surely those are the remarkable achievements of last year, along with the Brave Warriors doing us extremely proud by qualifying for this year’s CHAN finals that will kick off in Morocco soon.
Let me from the onset wish the boys the best of luck for their opening match against Ivory Coast this coming Sunday, before they take on Uganda on 18 January in their Group B campaign.
Having said that, it’s important that the sport leadership of this country step up to the plate and join hands with the government and private sector, in order to take us to new heights in 2018.
Government cannot be wholly blamed for the financial woes that sport codes find themselves in, but in the same breath, government must acknowledge the importance of sport in the fight against crime, alcohol and substance abuse, and that it is indeed a vehicle that can make inroads into the high unemployment faced by the youth.
Sport can indeed be a vehicle out of the doldrums for our youth, and the only way to emancipate them is by uplifting previously marginalised regions, which to date don’t feature any state-of-the-art facilities, which is detrimental to our development. Now coming back to 2018, our athletes have to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Australia in April, and to date, some sport codes have not registered a single athlete nor have athletes been informed which qualifying competitions they should compete in.
The question is whether there is money budgeted for our athletes to compete in the qualifying events, and if so, it’s imperative that both the NSC and NNOC comes forth and inform the public whether there is funding for these athletes.
And with April just a few months away, I wonder what to expect, if we assemble a team to represent the Land of the Brave at the world spectacle.
Leaders within the sport fraternity talk so passionately about competence and participation, but will we really be ready, or will it just end up being another shambles on the world stage?
It’s important that lessons be learned from previous global events.
In 2016, we had a team at the Olympic Games held in Rio, but I wonder if any post-Olympic assessment was done, in order to improve on the shortcomings experienced at those Summer Games? We keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over and no one is held accountable for our failure to perform. Why is this so?
It’s time that the sport fraternity take cognisance of the need to improve tremendously and learn from our neighbouring friends, who assemble national teams months or a year before the event takes place, so that they can thoroughly prepare.
So in 2018, we have the Commonwealth Games, Junior African Games (Algiers), AUSC Region 5 Youth Games, the Cosafa Cup (both senior and junior teams), a women’s qualifier against Zimbabwe early this year and yes the 2019 All-Africa Games, slated for Equatorial Guinea.
What will we do differently, in order to attain good results and keep the national flag flying high? It cannot simply be business as usual.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015