Skeleton sports budget could have serious consequences … Don’t kill goose that lays golden eggs
So, the national budget has been tabled and as widely anticipated, it was received with mixed emotions by the affected citizens. If this is allowed to happen unchallenged, then this will inevitably trigger a chain of subsequent undesirable events just – just as you knock over one domino, this will topple the next one and go on and on in the same pattern. The extremely worrisome or rather laughable yearly budget allocated to the sports portfolio ministry is a serious cause of concern, to say the least. Authorities need to draw a line between when there is a continuum, such as that between the stinking rich and extremely poor citizens of the nation. The line ministry has been allocated N$288 million for the coming 2018/19 financial year, which is a N$97 million budget cut when compared to the N$385 million the ministry received in the last financial year. It’s now a well-documented open secret that sport has for donkey’s years been systematically placed right at the bottom of our government’s list of priorities but alas, sport is not only a game of playing football, rugby, cricket, athletics or trading boxing gloves in the ring – sport is without an iota of doubt more than what genuinely meets the eye. Let us carefully take a thorough look and analyse the implications of a skeleton sports budget and the dire consequences thereof. Sport has proven time and again that it can be used as the most essential vehicle for reconciliation as it unites divided nationals despite their political allegiances and religious beliefs. Sport provides various job and academic opportunities for excelling athletes – the likes of Frank Fredericks, Jacques Burger, Agnes Samaria, Julies Indongo and Colin Benjamin are living testimonies to the argument put forward here. Our senior national football team is excelling beyond expectations on the international stage simply because they are the chief beneficiaries of a fairly decent funding from the Namibian government as opposed to other sports codes, notwithstanding the naked reality that junior teams are nowadays finding it difficult to participate internationally because of serial budget constraints. Now, the fundamental question that needs to be raised is who’s going to sustain the Brave Warriors’ commendable uprising in world football if the youth structures are gravely neglected, just because of insufficient funding. I’m just wondering. In the same breath, government has been very vocal about poverty eradication but how are we going to achieve that if the youth, the future of tomorrow, are left to fend for themselves? It should be noted that sport does not only offer physical competitiveness amongst the youth but young people engage vigorously in various sporting disciplines as a sense of belonging, while trying to keep a healthy distance from the evils of society. There has been some really genuine and justified arguments and counter-arguments of late over the eyesore empty stands at football matches in the country’s flagship football league, the MTC Premiership (NPL). For starters, the quality of football is hopelessly sub-standard and this can be attributed to the large number of teams campaigning in the flagship football league. The league urgently needs personalities, something which is lacking big time amongst the current crop of footballers campaigning in the NPL. Back in the day each and every single football club in the business had one or two great footballers possessing the ability and talent that attracted fans through the turnstiles. Cuca Tops had Paul Kandere, Young Ones had Lance Willemse, Hungry Lions had Foresta Nicodemus, and so on, and on. These are just the so-called small teams apart from the big guns who were laden with talent. Just a few seasons ago, African Stars would attract masses to their matches just because of the presence of both Querra Jacobs and Rudi Louw. Apart from Dynamo Fredericks, Image Isaaks, Petrus Shitembi, Mekondjo Tobias, Aubrey Amseb, Benjamin Nekavu, Christian “Namarob” Doeseb and a few others, which players are out there to dish out attractive football that would lure fans to the stadiums? I rest my case.
2018-03-09 11:40:44 6 months ago