State of the Sports Address

by Robbie Thompson

State of the Sports Address

Sure, for lack of topic choice, I thought the heading for today is quite catching and might give this piece some semblance of importance, so to speak.

Firstly, congrats are in order for the country’s oldest football club Tigers, aka ‘Ingweinyama’, on clinching the elusive MTC Premiership title. I hope and trust coach Brian ‘Oubaas’ Isaacs, has now been vindicated as the finest football mentor in Namibia – if statistics are anything to by.

I heard through the grapevine that the annual NPL prize-giving awards ceremony has summarily been cancelled, accompanied by some lame excuse, but it does not detract from the overall league winner’s achievement.



Secondly, kudos to Leicester City for claiming the coveted Barclays English Premiership title against all odds staked against them. Alas, what has that got to do with me? Well, nothing really, absolutely nothing, but I just want to twist the knife a bit in the flesh of our local Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Watford and West Ham followers. Why so quiet, chaps?

This weekend sees our Welwitchias entertain the Griquas at the Hage Geingob Stadium tomorrow in their sixth match of the South African Provincial Currie Cup. Still winless after five rounds of matches, it makes we wonder whether we’re on the right track with the so-called skewed objectives set at the beginning of this tourney.

One can argue that the Southern Kings, Sunwolves, Cheetahs, and even the Lions are finding the going tough in their debut season of Super Rugby, but hell, I’ve only noticed our consistency in losing, though we’re at least giving our local club players the much-needed exposure and I seriously and trust our first victory is just around the corner.

Oops! What a shock to see the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) protesting in front of the South African Rugby Union offices in neighbouring South Africa over the tortoise-paced transformation of rugby in that country.

Sure, many of you might want to know why the shock. This is simply because of the unexpectedness, but also the veracity of it. Though slightly politically motivated, it is a wake-up call to our sport administrators here, as well as at club level to wake up and smell the java.

The response by Francois Davids, a technical committee member who received the petition, had me in stitches. Not only did he advance an incoherent reply in content, language and relevance, he ignorantly and sarcastically asked the ANCYL to assist with transformation! SARU O – ANCYL 1.

This brings me to the composition of the South African Under-20 team, which consists of only five black faces out of the touring entourage of 28 on their way to England. Come on people – in junior rugby? This a big a joke if not a serious miscarriage of justice of the highest order.

Back at home, we had an above 50% representation by design or endeavour – pardon me I’m not quite sure – but statistics were very clear when Namibia ended fourth overall in Zimbabwe recently at the World Rugby Under-20 tourney. Does that ring a bill? I’m just asking.

Just as recently, an sms in a local daily reflected the state of our club rugby regarding financing. Teams are frequently withdrawing from league commitments as a result financial constraints. My hackles shot up when I saw the large amounts bandied about in the press allocated to local football clubs and the presiding body.

Please allow me to briefly borrow a popular question from my learned buddy Oom Kiddo: “What would happen the day MTC withdraws their sponsorship”? Or is the NPL paddling on politically correct artificial life support?

My advice to the Rugby Concerned Group is to withdraw from all NRU activities and watch the dirt hit the fan. Maybe then, there will be appreciation towards our clubs and their players.

The # FNB Rugby Three are not privileged and their sponsorship does not even equal a single drop in the ocean. Sport has to compete with numerous other entities for sponsorships and then we as sports people are constantly reminded to live with the forever-grateful beggar attitude.

This is pure nonsense! We also know which section of society is sitting with the economic might. Is the other section being punished for the current political status quo? I just wonder. I dare anyone to differ with me on this, because examples are plenty to come by.

Anyone home at the National Sports Commission (NSC) on the aforesaid? You are very quiet. Alas, we wish the Welwitchias good luck for tomorrow’s clash against the visiting Griquas.

In conclusion, we would like to wish madam Carol Garoës, and her team of delegates to the AWISA Elective Congress underway Windhoek all the best. That’s it for now!

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UPDATE: Premiership awards back on

Following some back and forth the Namibia Premier League announced yesterday that the MTC Premiership award-giving ceremony will take place on today (Friday) at 10h00 at Nice Restaurant in Windhoek.

 

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