By John Tuerijama
THE reduction in the number of women football clubs in the Erongo Women Soccer League is a cause of concern for the organisers, as some teams have been forced to forego their affiliation to the coastal regional league. Erongo Women Soccer League organiser, Prof Muvangua, in an interview with Confidente this week, said there were nine teams a few years ago, but the number has since declined to only four. He said the challenge has been a lack of sponsorship from the corporate and public sectors, while community members have had a rather disappointing perception of the game as predominantly a men’s sport. Muvangua added that they renamed the league from Swakopmund Women Soccer League to Erongo Women Soccer League to accommodate more teams from smaller towns like Uis, Khorixas, Usakos, Karibib, Omaruru and Otjimbingwe. “The idea was to enable women football in the whole of Erongo region and not just think that the league is from the Swakopmund constituency, but [to be] inclusive of the whole region.” He added that the mindset of the community members must change, as there is a lot that needs to be done, especially changing the attitude of some parents by educating the community elders on the importance of women’s football. He said women’s football is growing internationally and young girls can be empowered through sport and education, and activities such as the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Galz and Goals programme. Muvangua further said the development of women’s football can help fight social ills such as unwanted pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse. “Mothers must stand up and support these young girls, financially and emotionally. The other challenge we face is the lack of stadiums, since the stadium belongs to the municipality, but if there are potential sponsors wanting to come on board, they are more than welcome.” The league organiser added that parents were the main custodians of women’s football in the region, but progress can only be achieved when people hold hands and support such initiatives. Muvangua said the success of the league depends on the involvement of the community and the business sector. He said that for the league to affiliate to the national football body they will first have to consider a number of factors, such as the educational performance of the players, facilities and the availability of trained coaches. He said there was public interest in women’s football but sponsorship is the key factor to sustain the league once it kicks off. Muvangua said collaboration with the Namibia Schools Sports Union is paramount in that schools make use of the players belonging to the respective clubs. He thanked Mushimba Transport and Chop Stars for their initial support when the two entities injected N$25 000 into the first-ever football season played in 2015. Teams scheduled to compete for top honours when the league resumes early next year are African Queens Football Club (FC), Dragon Fly FC, Kavetu FC, and Super Ladies FC.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015