The Namibia Sports Commission began deliberations with national federations over the weekend to discuss the prioritization and categorization of sports codes in the country.
Currently in its first phase of planning, the framework criteria for the ranking of sports codes will primarily focus on five areas, namely, participation, governance and leadership, development, international achievement and national interest. The framework criteria are based on foundations that will develop Namibian sport and assist in meeting other national objectives.
Currently, sport codes are ranked in categories A, B, C and D, a basis used to determine funding grants allocated to sports codes for different purposes.
Although the new ranking and categorization system will not be in the best interest of every sports code, the assessment seeks to look at the benefits and value it will bring to the country.
As part of the new recommendations, federations will be assessed on governance and leadership, reporting and compliance through the submission of financial and activity reports, and liquidity and solvency in relation to encompassing sound financial management principles.
Adherence to the Namibia Sport Act and all policies adopted by the sports commission, demographic representation of board members on national federations in relation to gender, and board member rotation of every ten years with an extension of four years only upon the approval of the sports commission are some of the proposed standards that will be set under the governance and leadership criteria.
Federations aspiring to benefit from development grants will be required to submit a development plan, with a national competition structure in place for towns other than Windhoek. Development categories inclusive of youth and a wide regional spread of coaches, umpires and athletes across regions have also been listed as measurement tools for recommendation.
The framework under the development criteria also aims to address gender and disability inequalities by seeking a 50:50 inclusivity of registered athletes across all sport codes, as well as the introduction of people with disabilities as part of the development programme across all sports codes.
Other focus areas for assessment include national interest, which seeks to encourage the hosting of international events, employment creation and the participation of sport codes in community projects to reduce poverty.
Participation and achievement at international games, highlighting qualification and medals achieved will also be measured.
The current weighting system for each area has not been finalized, as further discussions still need to be held with the federations. The development of a resource allocation model to determine funding and support to the sport codes based on their ranking and prioritization are some of the steps that will form part of the next planning phase.
Speaking at the meeting the deputy minister of sport, Agnes Tjongarero, highlighted the importance of decentralizing development across all 14 regions.
She stated that government is aware of the limited resources available to develop sport, but advised sports codes to be strategic in their development initiatives by firstly focusing on the nearest towns and gradually move to other towns.