WINDHOEK – The chances of local school athletes competing with their regional and continental counterparts are currently zero, this after the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU) was told to freeze all its activities until further notice due to the unavailability of funds.
In a letter dated 14 June 2019, the Executive Director in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, Emma Kantema-Gaomas, wrote to NSSU national coordinator Solly Duiker informing him of the ministry’s decision to effect a moratorium on funding all NSSU schools sport activities until further notice.
The decision, according to the ministry’s letter, was triggered by the persistent lack of funds within the line ministry – and to ensure that learners remain active during the funding veto the NSSU was advised to implement schools league systems in various circuits, clusters, constituencies and regions.
As an added directive, the NSSU was also told that when organising the schools league systems in various circuits, clusters, constituencies and regions, the union must ensure that those activities require limited transport or no transport implications.
“As you are aware, financial constraints have been hampering the implementation of various sport programmes. In recognition of this reality, you are hereby informed that there are no funds available for sporting activities until further notice. Therefore, be informed all international sports activities under the NSSU will be grounded until further notice,” reads the letter.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Duiker expressed dismay and disbelief in the ministry’s decision, saying schools sporting activities will be severely affected by the funding moratorium and that Namibia’s participation and status regionally and continentally could possibly hit an all-time low.
“It’s going to be very difficult for us as the NSSU. I mean these learners always give their best at regional level because they know they will stand a chance to compete regionally and continentally with other top school sports competitors; but now with the moratorium on all international activities I don’t know how learners will be motivated. Now we are told to organise regional school leagues with no transport implications – how we will do that I’m yet to figure out. As much as we understand the financial situation, it is really going to be difficult for the NSSU and schools countrywide,” said the long-serving sports administrator.