My heart is bleeding and finds it hard to digest the news that our national heroes, the Paralympians, would not be able to represent their beloved motherland, the land of the Brave, just simply because of insufficient funding.
These are blokes who have defied all the odds stacked against them to put Namibia’s name on the global map with breathtaking performances at various august sports gatherings.
What puzzles the mind is – why should those entrusted to administer sporting disciplines always have to wait until the eleventh hour to find out there is no money to send athletes abroad? I’m just wondering.
With all due respect, something is seriously amiss in our midst when it comes to priorities, or else how does one explain that a country – apparently on its knees financially – can spend millions on less important projects at the expense of athletes.
Needless to note that yours truly really has sympathy with the portfolio minister Hon. Jerry Ekandjo, who has been saddled to run such a crucial ministry on a shoestring budget, but when athletes do not perform to expectations the brother gets the flak.
Namibian sport is hopelessly under-funded and until such time the habitually dozing folk in blue suits in the comfort of our august House start to realize the importance of sport and the active role it plays in uniting people from all walks of life – I’m afraid our sports are an inevitable delicacy for stray dogs.
Yours truly has always and still advocates that authorities introduce without further delay hard and fast rules that would compel corporate business to put their money where their large mouths can be located.
The government must rethink and revisit the overall methodology of the sports budget, because it’s incumbent upon our lawmakers to come up with tangible resolutions to save Namibian sport from going astray.
Considering our relatively small population, Namibia is a country blessed with amazing talent in the area of sport, be it rugby, football, cricket, boxing, athletics or a horde of other sporting disciplines.
Namibia is the only country on the African continent boasting genuine world boxing champions while internationally acclaimed handler, bro Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias, is hailed as the finest boxing promoter in the entire Africa.
It goes beyond any comprehension as to how we are expected to compete and fashion good results against nations whose individual budgets for football alone would dwarf our entire sports budget. A quick reminder: Namibia could not even send an Under-17 football team to Mauritius to defend their Cosafa Youth Cup they won last year because of lack of funds. Now the fundamental question that comes to mind is – if cash-strapped countries such as Zambia, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau, Burundi and many others can afford to enter national teams in regional and continental competitions, where did we go wrong? I rest my case.