Jeremiah Ndjoze Windhoek-In Namibia, a lack of financial support has been fingered as the main detrimental factor to the growth of sport in the country. But while this lack of funds has crippled the operations of many a sports code, the Power and Weightlifting Federation of Namibia (PWFN) continues to operate on ‘laughable’ resources – albeit zealously. Despite having a ‘folder’ at the offices of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and ensuring that the NSC is in the know on all activities of the federation, PWFN president Marius Johannes told New Era Sport this week that his federation’s relationship with the NSC is one of common courtesy and understanding. “We are yet to receive any support from the NSC or any other entity for that matter. We finance all our international engagements ourselves. Personally, I made peace with this as president and competitor. I think we also started off badly due to the corruption cases hitting the NSC, but it should not be an excuse for 2018 and beyond,” said Johannes. Johannes revealed that he has submitted a proposal to the NSC, which if implemented – over a period of three years – “will put Namibia on the map as a viable destination for lifters,” but is yet to hear from the NSC. The federation was formed with only three willing members in 2016 and has since grown to nine active competitors and twelve in-training athletes. Currently, no teams exist, let alone a league, and invitations that were sent to gyms across the country seem to have fallen on deaf ears. “We established the federation because for one to compete at the International Powerlifting Federation arena, as well as at the Commonwealth Games, it is required that the competitor belongs to a federation. There you compete as a country not individual, unlike with other federations where you can compete as an individual,” Johannes revealed. Despite the cash-flow challenges the federation has managed to bring some silverware to Namibian shores. In 2017, Johannes brought home two bronze medals from the Commonwealth Games. Also, the team has delivered impressive performances at the Arnolds in 2017. Johannes is adamant that 2018 will see the team reaching greater higher in terms of performance on the international stage. “For 2018, I predict bigger achievements, but powerlifting is truly measured also in your own personal records, and it’s the rush of the lift in front of a shouting crowd that you truly are after. Glory is just the extra, and meeting lifters who are crazier than you.” Queried as to how he intends to circumvent some of the challenges that his federation is facing when it comes to mainstreaming the sport, Johannes maintained that he has a model through which he intends to attract the people who love the sport, into the body. “We need a federation for lifters, by lifters,” Johannes maintained.
2018-02-28 10:18:36 6 months ago