Athletics Namibia Heading for Extinction


Allow me space in your newspaper to air my views in support of sportswriter Carlos Kambaekwa’s apparent discredit of Alpha Kangueehi, Athletics Namibia President, and overall the state of the track and field events in our country. To call it short of the word shambles is by no means any ill intended measure, but is what it is. Sometime ago I read in this newspaper with great interest how Athletics Namibia is progressing well, with its mandated activities, in his apparent response to the referred author. I tend to disagree. The association has been fighting a lukewarm battle ever since and in fact Kambaekwa’s comments were long overdue. The president should not act surprised, he saw it coming and ignores the punches now that they hurt. He cries foul that it was a head start. Whose fault is it anyway if he sleeps, while he is supposed to be awake? Sometimes men with the stature of Kambaekwa are crucified for their criticisms, but honestly folks, Kangueehi is failing not only the AN, but the entire spirit of this great sport. AN has in the past been ridiculed for its inconsistency, infighting and substandard performances and poorly planned preparation for athletes to partake in international engagements. Let’s not forget the “brown bread debacle”, where athletes in Botswana were rationed this apparent wholesome bread as part of their catering intents, by Kangueehi, who in fact doubled up as Chef de Mission. Lesser athletics meetings do take place in the country, with only the Frank Fredericks Invitational in sponsorship with Coca-Cola, while the rest of the athletics season in the country has vanished. The regions have no development programs in terms of nurturing new talent. Do you need more? Bank Windhoek pulled the plug on a lucrative athletics development program – the reason, infighting in the body. The country has lost a valuable stakeholder in Athletics Namibia, Quinton Steele Botes, because of what I will believe are inefficiency, non-correlation, disunity and plain old despotisms. The lack of a development, enticement and retainment policy in the country has forced many of our up-and-coming best athletes to search for greener pastures while Kangueehi sits in his air-conditioned office presiding over what one exactly does not know. With barely two weeks left for the Commonwealth Games in Australia, AN has an under-strength team despite having ample time to prepare athletes for this prestigious event, not only having robbed the opportunity for young athletes to represent their country, but has shamed this once proud nation. Adding insult to injury, the most unimpressed appointments were made of two individuals to head the administration department of the body, whilst their qualifications suggest they are experts in other fields. Journalists can never become administrators nor can administrators become journalists. The question remains who’s fooling who. But boy, the gentleman still believes that AN is no nearer to its extinction. I will bet my last few pennies on this one. The writing is on the wall, Mr Alpha Kangueehi, please do the sensible thing and leave office. Clinging to AN is tantamount to greed and an absence of knowledge. At least one can credit you with the old adage “I have tried, hard as I could, but failure was imminent anyway.” In case you wonder who said that, a quick Internet search and quotes on Marlon Brando will help you out eventually. Fed Up, Disgruntled and Stupefied Kondjeni