It’s now crystal clear as daylight that sport is placed right at the bottom of our government’s list of priorities – if the massive cut evidenced in the skeleton budget allocation to the country’s presiding sport body, the National Sports Commission (NSC) is anything to go by.
Yours truly is damn sure that many of you out there would scorn to own me in a lie if I dare conclude that those entrusted to pull the purse strings in the upper echelons of our administration dismally failed to recognize the unique potential of sport to foster social inclusion and awareness raising in safeguarding the intrinsic values of sport, ultimately fostering socio-economic benefits.
In essence, the men in blue suits gravely fell short to acknowledge the diversity of priorities and objectives that determine the allocation of resources to sporting disciplines and their programmes.
Just over three years ago, the budget allocation for sport was N$38 million and now has tumbled to a mere N$6 million – nogal in a crucial year that sees Namibia well represented at International August gatherings, the rugby world cup in Japan and the Afcon finals in the ancient land of the Pharaohs (Egypt).
It should be noted that access to sport is a fundamental right not a favour please!!. Sport serves as the ultimate entry point for children the (future of tomorrow) to learn life skills, develop patterns for lifelong physical activity participation and healthy life style behaviours.
Authorities should wake up and smell the Java by considering sport funding as a safe and positive investment that will result in positive socio-economic outcomes in the long run ensuring major programmes do not suffer from budget shifts.
Time calls for all stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and roll with the punches. Embark on an aggressive campaign and interrogate our dangerously wobbling sport policy - come up with tangible solutions that would compel or rather entice corporate companies to come on board without fear of coming out second best.
Let us take a leaf out of South Africa’s flawless sport policy where government does not spend sleepless nights over the funding of sport activities. The South African National Lottery Commission (NLC) has injected over R4-billion into the development of sport and recreation over the last 16 years. That has contributed and continues to play a pivotal role in the development of sports at grassroots level, and building a healthy, winning nation.
Doff my ‘korrie’ for progressive NPL Management
Bluntly told, the autonomy and integrity of sport, football in particular cannot entirely operate in isolation – those entrusted to steer the ships of these public institutions have a moral duty and responsibility to preserve the integrity of sport and general principals and internationally accepted benchmarks of good corporate governance.
The long overdue appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Marketing Manager is a much welcomed move – let me give you a pat on the back my learned colleagues.
Turning my attention to the new two appointees, both men are of good standing in the community, the game of football in particular. The author came to know Harald Fulle as a very competitive versatile footballer who often shifted between the goalposts (goalie) for German outfit SKW, ‘Immer Wieder’.
Its common knowledge that we all have some unpleasant episodes in our life, the author experienced some nasty on the field run-ins with bro Harry during our time as footballers because of the tense rivalry between Ramblers and SKW.
Nonetheless, I came to know a different man off the field when the brother was installed Interim Chief Administrator at the NSC – succeeding Rusten Mogane. I must admit he acquitted himself extremely well with the professional fashion in which he executed his designated functions.
Local socialite Andrew Gariseb, needs no introduction, the brother has already shown his mantle by organizing major live music shows and several entertainment gatherings.
Both dues are certainly the real deal - let us give them the much needed support to succeed because it should be a collective responsibility to take our football to the next level. On a rather not-so-cool parting shot, the one-year employment contract is boggling the mind. Adios, I rest my case.