… Lack of professional coach ultimate stumbling block
By: John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA Table Tennis (NATT)’s entry into the Commonwealth Games spectacle still remains a far-fetched dream as the sporting discipline lacks competent and qualified coaches to groom the national team to compete at the global showdown.
Since participating in the Commonwealth Games dating back to 1998, Namibia has mostly competed in athletics, boxing, cycling, shooting and wrestling.
Responding to questions from Confidente this week, national team manager Rudi Saunderson indicated that the “lack of exposure is not the primary issue [but] professional coaching is the missing link”.
Saunderson was speaking specifically on the poor performance of the national t e a m at the Zone S i x Championship.
“We do not have a professional coach and table tennis is played only in a few schools which makes it difficult to procure the services of a professional coach as funding is a challenge,” Saunderson stressed.
Saunderson stressed that the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) wants Namibia to compete and not just participate in international competition.
He made these remarks in reference to the fact that Namibia has not had representation in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games since competing in 1998.
“Namibia’s benchmark therefore is the Region 5 Games where we compete against South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi. Once we can be medal winners at this level, it would open the door for Commonwealth competition.
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