Miss Namibia, sport in general, NSSU and rugby

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 Firstly, please allow me to congratulate Steffi van Wyk for scooping the prestigious Miss Namibia beauty contest. It goes to show that the sometimes over-elaboration of the woman’s physique is nonsense. An obviously healthy and sporting person is our Miss Namibia.

Oops! I don’t want to get into a tussle with feminists and all that jazz, but it goes to show that the model look-alike is not necessarily the primary focus. What is of importance is what Steffi had to say about sport through the following words: “Sport should be decentralised and children must participate in sport at school.”

Herself an astute athlete, Steffi is a shining example when it comes to school sport. I just get the idea that the Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU) is more interested in being paraded in sponsorship handover photos than knuckling down to the very hard work of vigorously re-establishing school sports.

This brings one to the next question, how on earth can a school like Suiderlig in Keetmanshoop not have an under-19 rugby team?

A simple deduction, where does the local rugby club source its playing personnel from? Well, rumour has it that certain people in these towns deliberately kill rugby at school level to establish the so-called Super League teams in towns, that would allow them compete in the prestigious Super Schools League.

These teams are made up of only the “ best” players in those particular schools. My learned friend Solly Duiker, are you aware of this disgusting trend? This is none other than segregation! Maybe we should appoint Steffi as our rugby ambassador to restart a Sevens Rugby culture and rest assured, I will be the first to assist her.

By the way, anyone of Nigeria, Morocco, Botswana and Mauritius can still qualify for the Rio Sevens. Needless to ask why Namibia is in the mix and to top it off, for interest sake, when and where did the national schools sevens trials take place?

Another question for Bra Solly, it seems as if only a selected few know what is going on in schools rugby. Are we bending backwards to appease the elite schools? Hope this is not the case.

Let me also congratulate Frank Fredericks, our true athletics ambassador for his well-deserved election as council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Yours truly stumbled upon a photo of former Namibian rugby legend Gerhard Mans in a local daily in the Welwitschias change room. Where have you been holed up over the last two and a half decades?

Word has it that you are not interested in the rugby set-up because things are according to your observation not exactly in order after independence? Rugby has given you and some of us great opportunities, though not without sacrifice. Talk about timing and misplaced perception of the current status quo?

Perhaps I should ask one or two of our Nanru legends –Heinrich ‘Sop Sop’ de Waal or Clive Smith – to make a quick turn at the Welwitschias’ training sessions before they board the Jumbo for the IRB World Cup.

Like I said before, Namibia might be back in the South African Currie Cup competition sooner than expected, obviously funds permitting, but any decision in this regard requires cool heads and none of the manipulative crap from certain individuals within the NRU.

On a rather positive note, kudos to the Namibian rugby team for winning the Rugby Africa Cup in fine style. The entire Namibian nation is proud of that simply because it is a genuine African competition. As my buddy, John Walters, the Namibian ombudsman, summed it up in the early 90’s already – “the road to the World Cup, runs through Africa”.

Nevertheless, we are really thankful for the opportunity created by SARU to let our World Cup-bound lads have their final preparations with the Springboks.

As was rightly pointed out by Phil Davies, this exercise will expose our players to tier one opposition regarding system delivery in defence and attack, thus replicating a RWC week. We as No. 2 on the African continent should emulate South Africa in this regard and embrace our lower ranked rugby brothers in the same manner. Then we can carry that mantra with pride.

Listening to Davies on the radio the other day, I could not help but allow a huge smile on my face, albeit sardonically. The brother said emphatically that it is not only what happens at the RWC, but what happens afterwards.

Did I hear this song before?  These are exactly the same concerns raised by the Concerned Group. I would challenge Davies to share the post-RWC Legacy Programme with the clubs and not only with the current unrepresentative NRU. Clubs should have inputs into their own rugby and grab the opportunity when presented. Cheers for the time being.

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