I am 100 percent in agreement with the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni that Namibia must start learning from the best in the sporting nations, if we want to produce the results we so badly want.
Though I am not keen on emulating the Australians yet, I think we must first look at the best African countries that have made headlines continentally and beyond. Neighbours like South Africa and Botswana have done tremendously well in athletics, as demonstrated at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.
The question is what have these countries done for their athletes to perform exceptionally well during the past Olympic and Commonwealth Games? Can we as a nation send delegations to visit these countries, including Kenya and Ethiopia, to scrutinise their blue prints?
And just like comrade Uutoni said during his speech at the NBC FIFA World Cup broadcast launch when he singled out Australia’s billion dollar investment into sport, Namibia must take a bold decision to invest heavily into sport. What does it take for the Namibian Government to be convinced on the importance of investing into sport? Clearly our parliamentarians seem the least worried in the development of sport but that’s where the bucket must start rolling. Like I’ve said before if there are no sport debates in the national assemblies to pave the way, then we are certainly barking up the wrong tree.
Perhaps if the current Minister of Sport can get the ball rolling in parliament by mobilising his fellow comrades like the Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of works Transport John Mutorwa and the younger parliamentarians to debate issues related to sport development and investment. What’s the use of talking sports development when our very own lawmakers seem uninterested? I must add here that the situation in which Netball Namibia is finding itself in terms of lack of sponsors can somewhat be attributed to the lack of female parliamentarians showing interest in sport. Sports development can only be realised if both the public and private sector move in the same direction and have a common understanding on how to develop sport.
Another disappointing factor is the sub-standard sport facilities and sometimes no facilities in some regions that hamper sport development.
We have seen a number of smaller nations achieving the impossible at world sporting events like Jamaica in athletics, and now a Nordic Island Iceland who are this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup debutant. And what a great way for the Nordic nation to hold former world cup champion Argentina to a one-all draw in their opening match, when goalkeeper Hannes Halidorsson denied Lionel Messi a penalty.
Just like Iceland and the other African countries that conquered the world through sport, Namibia can and has the potential to produce the best in the world. Why can’t we have another Frank Fredericks or Agnes Samaria and how do we intend on grooming these young athletes who at regional level bring home gold medals? How do we ensure that we maximally keep our promising young athletes on the right track and not have them way from the national objective?
The question is do we have a national programme that will cater for our younger athletes in terms of grooming and nurturing? Will these athletes join the Jamaican programme? I mean, we have athletes that have been training in Jamaica yet they have failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games and now the 2018 Commonwealth Games? I wonder how much the Government has spent, through the Ministry of Sport, sustaining the Jamaican programme which has undoubtedly failed to yield any results.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015