• September 28th, 2020

Boks just proved racial transformation is achievable – Veii… urges Namibia to take leaf from SA

WINDHOEK – Racial transformation in sports is very much achievable if the minds, hearts and attitudes of those entrusted with running the various federations develop the willingness and courage to be ambassadors of change, the chairperson of the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5, Vetumbuavi Veii, strongly believes.

Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, hot on the heels of South Africa’s historic Rugby World Cup triumph in Japan on Saturday, Veii said the Springboks have demonstrated with their World Cup success that anything is achievable if racial transformation in sports is tailored around achieving a common goal. The racial transformation of the Springboks roared into overdrive when Siya Kolisi skippered a team including six black players to a Rugby World Cup final triumph over England. And for those who believed black players would strengthen a national team once reserved for whites, it was a day of vindication.

Some white supporters had believed that including blacks would seriously weaken the team and turn the Springboks into rugby also-rans. Kolisi, who last year became the first black Test skipper of the team after 127 years of whites captaining, said racial unity sparked success in Yokohama. 
However, the selection of six black players in a Springbok World Cup final team has been a long and tortuous journey. There have been highs like the elevation last year of Kolisi to lead a team that for 90 years chose only whites.

“We have so many problems in our country and this team comes from different backgrounds, different races, but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it. I really hope we’ve done that for South Africa. (It) just shows that we can pull together if we want to achieve something,” Kolisi told www.sport24.co.za after Saturday’s triumph.

Veii, Namibia’s former director of sports in the line ministry, yesterday agreed with Kolisi, saying if all sports stakeholders come together and buy into the idea of using sports as a vehicle for national unity, anything will be achievable. 

“Let me first congratulate South Africa for their historic achievement. I must agree that racial transformation in sports is very much necessary and even here in Namibia we have been sitting with the very same problem and it seems progress has been very slow in that regard. The Springboks just proved to us (Namibia) and the world at large that if all parties work together and there is a positive change of minds and attitudes, we can achieve great things. In Namibia we have all the best laws and rules but the thinking and attitudes of those entrusted to run our local federations remain a major challenge in achieving transformational targets,” said the decorated veteran sport administrator.

He continued: “So even if we regulate and come up with all the best laws and rules, we will still not achieve transformation in local sports because the minds and attitudes of our administrators, especially those in minority sport codes, remains a problem. So we first have to deal with the attitude and thinking, then we will hopefully achieve total transformation in sports here at home. It is achievable, the Springboks just showed us all that it is indeed attainable.”

Asked if there is enough commitment and willingness from the entrusted authorities to prioritise the issue of transformation in local sports, especially lawmakers, sport activists and all within the political space, Veii said: “Here is another problem we also face in Namibia and in the region as a whole, we are sitting with a problem of having the wrong people in crucial positions. Sometimes you will come across someone who is apparently a special advisor to a sport minister but that particular advisor has no clue or whatsoever about the basics of sport and its policy issues. So how do you expect to achieve anything with such people in key positions? Let’s get the right people in the right positions and people who have a good understanding of key issues and policies in order to achieve our transformational goals.” – Additional info: www.sport24.co.za.

Otniel Hembapu
2019-11-05 08:46:01 | 10 months ago

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