Soccer Hero to Lead Festival’s Sport

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By Engel Nawatiseb TSUMEB The Tsumeb Copper Festival Committee has appointed the Mohammed Ouseb Sport Development Academy (Mosda ) for the preparation of sport activities for the prestigious annual copper festival slated for end of September this year. The chairperson of the festival committee, Lemmy Geingob, stressed the importance of empowering an organized local sport development structure to identify local talent and skilled youth to participate in sport activities as part of the celebrations. With the festival beginning in the next two months, all eyes will be on Tsumeb, a mesmerising melange of historic buildings and a modern town with plenty of copper reserves just waiting to be exploited for the benefit of the town and country. “To us (the committee) Mosda became part of us as a blessing in disguise considering the fact that they are already engaged in local sport development and the fact that they just know very well how to organize such events to be a major success. We talk about networking and seriousness when you want to take development somewhere. Ouseb is one of the most disciplined professionals our town can boast of with his remarkable sport academy. Therefore, we are confident that the weekend will offer the best sports fun for all our visitors to the festival,” said Geingob. The executive chairperson of Mosda, Mohammed Ouseb, told New Era that sport is a strategic asset for any government to unite people from across ethnic and tribal orientation as part of nation building. According to him, the Copper Fstival will create a window for the youth and national leaders to socialize by directly getting involved through participation in various sport codes during the event. “The youth should be kept off the streets and leaders should create an opportunity to relax and to have fun and that exactly is what is slated for the festival. All roads will lead to Tsumeb to see mayors and councillors locking horns with each other in a soccer thriller that should showcase their ‘limited’ football skills, a weekend away from their political engagements just for a chance,” said Ouseb. Ouseb is currently paying a visit to his home country and is leading preparations for the sports events for the Copper Festival. He added that Mosda as well as the Agnes Samaria Athletics Academy will offer coaching clinics for youngsters between the ages of 10 and17 years. He pointed out that the opportunity will benefit local youth as well as San children from neighbouring villages in the Guinas constituencies to promote a spirit of integration and unity of purpose through sports. “We all know that Tsumeb is the only local authority in the Oshikoto Region which is exposed to many opportunities in sport. Therefore, when we celebrate, we should do so collectively and assist each other in skills development,” he said. Other sports lined up during the event, Ouseb said, are a Seven-A-Side soccer tournament for companies, a primary school tournament (soccer), a golf tournament, tennis matches for retired seniors of the town, basketball, netball, an “Old Crocks” match between Benfica and Chief Santos to be succeeded by the main teams of the respective clubs. Ouseb further told New Era that plans to recall and host a Top 16 soccer tournament had been cancelled at the last minute due to the pre-scheduled hive of sport events topping the festival schedule. The Top 16 tournament was the most popular annual event on the football calendar of Tsumeb during the 70 and 80’s. “Rome was not built in a day, Top 16 will definitely come back to Tsumeb especially against the background that our top teams (Benfica/Chief Santos) made an exit from the premier league and that there is a need to keep football active in our town while the two are designing a strong comeback strategy to the league,”said Ouseb. The South African based soccer professional invited local businesses to become the main sponsor of Mosda in order to assist the academy towards the uninterrupted pursuance of its soccer development plan targeting youth between the ages of 10 and 17. “We also want to assist our top two teams by funding portions of their expenses during their first division engagements when the league resumes. It is obvious that any team without an official sponsor will suffer tremendously and could end up failing to honour their league engagements and result in losing points to their opponents.” Ouseb said the challenge is on local businesses to sponsor some of the sport events slated for the festival which in turn will serve to market the brands and labels of the sponsoring companies.