Sport leaders, media and athletes need each other

Michael Uugwanga

SPORT leaders, athletes and the media, we need to work hand in hand during this Covid-19 period as we all need one another like brothers and sisters. In Biblical terms we would say this ‘trinity’ in sport can never be separated.

I have been watching and reading up on lots of sporting events around the globe and something that stands out from what I have seen and read is that federations/associations around the globe are still hard at work to ensure that if and when the battle against Covid-19 is won they will not have to start from scratch but can continue from where they were, and this should also be a lesson for us.

Some say that Covid-19 came to teach us a good lesson about equal treatment, about learning how to give and to tolerate one another, because if we look around, for once we are all singing the same song: Stay Home, Stay Safe and Safe Lives, regardless of our class, race, socio-economic status, religious differences and ideologies.

At times when I pass down Otjomuise road in Katutura I come across a few athletes running, a sign that our athletes are taking ownership of their own sport codes, which is highly recommended.

While the suspension of all sporting activities is due to end with the initial lockdown on 16 April, the possibility that the suspension could be extended looks likely. Athletes and sport leaders should continue to work together and we the media should be there to transmit to the masses information on their sport heroes, as many are keen to know what our athletes are doing during the lockdown.

Perhaps local kick-boxers Delano Muller and Lesley !Hoaeb have set a good example in terms of what they are doing on a daily basis and that is working hard in training, no wonder the media cannot stop monitoring their activities.

I am not saying that other athletes are not doing the same, but the two kick-boxers perhaps know how to attract media attention and this is very good for a minor sport code like kickboxing that is still looking to establish itself as one of the major sport codes.

With the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) actively in contact with federations and association, the corporate world should do the same so that it encourages athletes and sport leaders to continue putting in the same effort as before Covid-19.

I like what Namdia, DebMarine and MTC in particular are doing in the fight against Covid-19 by pledging millions of dollars as their contribution towards combating the spread of the infection. These three organisations are part and parcel of the development of sport, although many only think of MTC as the major sport sponsors due to their financial muscles, but one can never leave out Namdia that helped the Namibia Football Association (NFA) financially to pay players’ allowances last year during the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers by giving each player intensive packages as a token of appreciation for a win or draw.

As for DebMarine, we all know that they sponsor netball and it is no secret that their generous sponsorship of the senior netball team, the Desert Jewelz, helped the team win the M1 Nations Cup in Singapore last year.

Finally, let us also appreciate and salute all other companies involved in sport. You are appreciated.

Wishing you all a happy Easter weekend.