NYSDP calls for grassroots sports support
FOLLOWING recent achievements of Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan and at the just ended World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, grassroots sports bodies are calling for more support from government and corporate companies to support grassroots sports for young people and not when athletes or teams reach Olympic stardom.
The National Youth Sports Development Platform (NYSDP), a youth led sports for development organisation is amongst the ones that have called for more attention and support to grassroots where a lot of resources are needed.
Speaking from Kavango West, the executive director of NYSDP, Isa Saidi has called on government to start investing heavily in sport in order for the country to identify more young talents like Mboma and Masilingi.
“It is high time government really get their hands dirty in the development of athletes and sports federations from village level to elite levels as well as opening doors for partnerships with youth led sports for development organisations in order to unearth the raw, uncut diamonds,” said Saidi.
The passionate and tough speaking young director alluded that companies should also have a complete strategic paradigm shift of how they handle their sponsorships.
“I really appreciate what the corporate world did for Mboma, Masilingi and other athletes and teams, however I do believe that should these companies should also start building from grassroots level, their brands will be widely and sustainably recognised.
“Therefore I would like to call upon companies to consider sponsoring and supporting grassroots sports programmes, athletes and clubs. Imagine if a company sponsors or supports junior football or junior netball leagues or if it supports a marathon development programme across the country, how many athletes would be unearthed and at what scale will the company be marketed?” said Saidi.
NYSDP is currently at the forefront of rolling out the SportsJab Campaign aimed at encouraging communities in sports to get vaccinated, starting in Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region, which saw Saidi taking his jab in the presence of chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Freddy Mwiya and president of Netball Namibia, Lydia Mutenda this week.
In November, NYSDP will be hosting the Sports Plus event in Lüderitz where grassroots sports practitioners will meet to discuss and develop an implementation document to be presented to the national sports governing body as well lawmakers.
Isa Saidi is the executive director of NYSDP