• February 17th, 2019
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Schools sport, a sorry state of affairs


Lest we forget, as confirmed individuals, we live in a rapidly developing globalizing world that places enormous demands on human beings to acquire ever increasing volumes of links for survival in a world that has become more predatory, so to speak.

Within an independent Namibia, all legitimate citizens irrespective of race, colour, tribe, creed or religion – should have unlimited access to all types of basic necessities to satisfy the desire of our present conditions.
Yours truly, had the distinct honour of being an invited guest speaker at the annual C.J Brandt High School Quadro Athletics Meeting held at the disturbingly out of shape rather overly utilized Khomasdal Sports Complex in Windhoek, recently.

Dear readers please don’t ask me who the hell is C.J Brandt, but on closer inspection, I was told it is some pale hide bloke who has never set foot in the Katutura township, but alas, how this learning institution was named after a total stranger with no recorded charitable links, let alone affection towards the community where this particular school is located, remains a mystery.

By the way, does anybody know of any notable institution holed up in the affluent residential areas named after some genuine indigenous heroes and heroines from the land of the Brave? I’m just wondering.
Generally speaking, we always urge our kids to concentrate their mental and physical strength on each situation they are bound to come across and on whatever they do and not waste their efforts on factors that are way beyond their control of influence. 

To sum it up, hereunder a brief prayer that provides very useful advice for those who care to read and digest the real meaning. 

“God, give us the grace to accept within serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other” – Reinhold Niebur.
Now back to the topic at hand here, it’s against this background that athletes of colour should seek to define their place in the world of sports, and when given an opportunity, prove themselves capable of excelling, even in sports codes that were historically reserved for Larneys, tennis, rugby, golf and cricket in particular.

The main bone of contention is to level the playing field against a backdrop of the massive historical disadvantage that has burdened black people’s lives as a result of racial prejudices and deliberate exclusion, racism and severe debilitating poverty, based on nothing other than “the crime” of having been born black. 
Athletes from schools in the less affluent townships will always have a mountain Kilimanjaro to scale to be able to compete at the highest level because of numerous obstacles. 

Simply put, ordinary things that wealthier athletes take for granted, such as having the right equipment, nutrition, an income, proper place to live and practice are often lacking for the struggling darkish hide athletes.
It is in the context of this massive burden, the tragic legacy of apartheid in sports, and the basic inequality in the experience, treatment and advancement of black and white sportspeople in Namibia that I want to raise a number of concerns.

As it stands, schools sports reveal a sketchy picture since most of the representative youth teams do not reflect the country’s demographic layout.
There is an urgent need to overhaul the current programmes of schools since it’s failing us big time. To put it bluntly, schools sport is dead.

Let us start with the beautiful game of football, back in the day, schools used to supply the bulk of footballers to the country’s leading clubs. Athletics used to tip into schools talent and so on.
Authorities must re-introduce inter schools competitions as a matter of urgency if we are to save our young athletes from becoming a delicacy for stray dogs.

Transformation is about affording opportunities to athletes to prove themselves and their worth as deserving athletes on equal footing. 

It’s a well-documented fact that white kids are given countless opportunities to prove themselves week in and week out, while black kids are only afforded sporadic chances to prove themselves and make a lasting impression.
It is time that we call a spade by its name and not sugar-coat nasty things that could ruin the health of the sporting fraternity and the prospects of talented Namibians. All athletes, whether black, brown or white should have equal access to a level playing ground. 

As all sport codes have an in-built assumption of fairness and equality between competing parties, typically encoded in the rules of the sport, so too fundamental and substantial equality - and hence transformation in sports is an indispensable condition for progress, unity and success. 

Anything else is a recipe for defeat, as we have repeatedly seen, not only on the field of play, but in the eyes of the wider society, which craves greater national unity among players and athletes of all colour. I rest my case.


Carlos Kambaekwa
2019-02-08 12:33:28 9 days ago

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