So, Namibia will be making her sixth successive appearance at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup in Japan, August this year.
Reaffirming the fundamental principals enshrined in the Namibian Sports Act, and mindful of the many obstacles hampering progress in many a Namibian sporting discipline – one is obliged to conclude that the days of making up numbers at August sporting gatherings are long thrown in the dustbin of has-beens.
It’s now a well-documented secret that Africa’s second best rugby playing nation, Namibia has been gravely found wanting in many aspects of the oval ball game over six attempts on the big stage.
Namibia has exited the global showpiece in the group stage on each and every occasion and is yet to manufacture a single victory in the campaign.
And whilst one would take solace in the knowledge that a significant chunk of our opponents are top class rugby nations playing professional rugby at the highest level – yours truly has a bone to pick with the serial shoddy manner in which our national senior rugby fifteen is being prepared for such a high profile event.
As it stands, domestic club rugby in the flagship league is yet to get the ball rolling, sies nogal in the year of the IRB World Cup. Okay, hold your horses of course we are oblivious of the ongoing shortage of financial resources, worsened by inadequate training facilities but this should not become an excuse for sub-standard performance.
Gone are the days when Namibia would send teams to international sporting
tourneys to be mere participants, gone are the days when some athletes would unpatriotically regard these overseas tours as wholly paid holiday destinations – its time to compete vigorously and make Namibia proud.
Its incumbent upon the portfolio authorities to ensure that national teams participating in high profile events internationally are well taken care of in terms of proper preparation by rolling out the red carpet availing sufficient financial resources, render emotional support including other necessities.
If my recollection serves me right, our national senior women’s hockey side is the only representative touring team to win matches in World Cup finals on foreign soil.
The brutal reality is that the oval ball game (rugby) does not really enjoy the support, recognition and acknowledgement it so dearly deserves, probably as a result of its genetic heritage.
Qualifying for six consecutive World Cup finals on the bounce is no certainly mean feat. Yours truly would like to appeal to all patriotic Namibians to accord rugby the support and affection it deserves.
Alas, let bygones be bygones, these dudes don’t represent their much despised Kaki broek clad boerewors and klipdrift guzzling forefathers but are without a shadow of doubt proud representatives painfully prepared to throw their bodies on the line for their beloved Land of the Brave. I rest my case.