National sport fund imperative

Adaunting task is steadily becoming a headache as the prescription offered by so many seems to be of little help. As I said in the past, it’s important for our national sport administrators to always have a post-mortem after participation in international competitions but it looks like that has never been a priority.

How do we expect to better our performances if we don’t reflect on our past performances if national teams technical committees are not obliged to submit performance reports not just in football or rugby better netball but across all national teams representing this country – be it at regional or international sporting events?

Let me cut to the chase, I foresee a huge struggle looming over the Brave Warriors’ 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign and that will likely be hampered by a lack of funding.

Just last month we saw how government through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service backed the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Normalization Committee with N$19 million to have the team compete at the 2019 AFCON showdown. Had it not been for government intervention we would not have had the Brave Warriors compete in Egypt. No doubt about that.

We sorely rely on government bailouts, forgetting that there are other priority areas in need of financial injection. I suggest the establishment of a ’national sport fund’ with the private sector required by law to contribute a certain percentage towards the sport fund would be key to completely eradicating the funding headache.

We had the 2014 Sport Conference in Windhoek, which touched on the very same subject of a national fund to help athletes compete in qualifying competitions, but to date our athletes are struggling financially. How do we expect them to excel internationally if they don’t have the financial backing?

Instead of having the private sector injecting funds into a single sport, let’s reprioritise and become more strategic in our approach. I mean our approach in terms of preparation for international competitions is awfully awkward and laughable, because we lack scientific thinking.

We have had various ministers in the capacities of the sports portfolio, yet they all failed to table a motion that would see the establishment of a ‘national sport fund’.

The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) – I think – was tasked with the implementation of such a national sport fund but the private sector must be lawfully obliged to contribute, more specifically the mining, fishing, financial and insurance sectors.

It’s important to have some of these companies injecting money into individual competitions like athletics, cycling, marathon and school’s sport, which is all well and good, but once the athletes graduate to a more senior level they tend to become financially stagnant.

Why? Because sport codes don’t have money to sustain these athletes and they end up roaming the streets and in some tragic cases end up becoming shebeen queens and kings.

A national sport fund would surely address a number of issues affecting individual athletes, including national teams. Who knows if at all there will be funds for the Brave Warriors’ participation in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, COSAFA championship, and etcetera?

Here we have Netball Namibia (NN) hoping to better their standing in Africa and the world and eventually to qualify for the next Netball World Cup, but how do we as a nation assist Netball Namibia in their strategic plan to qualify for the world showpiece?

Sport, as we all know, is a billion dollar industry that has the potential to shape the future of youth with sporting potential. Even those who are not academically inclined can opt to use their sporting abilities as a means to realise their potential, to achieve success and find personal fulfilment.