So, Namibia will be fully represented in a pair of major August sport gatherings this year following our national senior football and rugby fifteen side the Welwitschias and the Brave Warriors qualification for the Rugby World Cup in Japan and the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt, respectively.
The Welwitschias will be making their sixth successive appearance at the global rugby spectacle while the Warriors will grace Africa’s biggest sporting showpiece for the third time since their maiden appearance in Burkina Faso1998 and 2008 Afcon in Ghana 10 years ago.
Certainly no mean feat for a country inhabited by such a pocket-size pool of athletes to choose from but in all fairness, logic suggests that having been there and conquered the big stage previously – the time is now ripe for us to compete and not just add numbers at these major competitions.
It’s a well scripted secret that both these disciplines, the oval ball and the spherical object, our lads are yet to fashion out a victory at both these international events.
The Warriors can take solace from their gusty display in their last appearance when they stretched hosts Ghana’s Black Stars all the way before narrowly losing 1-0 at a packed to rafters national stadium in Accra in 2008.
Namibia exited the continental tourney with a hard fought one-all draw in the subsequent group stage match against Guinea but left the tournament with a measure of dignity. In the oval ball game, our national rugby team is yet to shake off the wooden spoon in the group stages despite being regular campaigners.
Nevertheless, there have been signs of a slight improvement from previous displays after the Namibian amateurs managed to fashion out a gallant resistance against eventual winners New Zealand’s All Blacks during the Pool matches in the last edition in 2015.
Heading for their umpteenth World Cup appearance, the oval ball boys should roll up their sleeves and try by all means to register their first victory at the marathon tournament.
Rejuvenated golf legend Tiger Woods’ eagerly awaited breathtaking victory clinching his 15th Masters crown last Sunday should be a crystal clear demonstration that nothing is impossible when human beings are determined to achieve their set goals and objectives.
There is an urgent need to get the fundamentals right from the word go, we can’t expect to compete on equal footing against world acclaimed opponents without proper preparation and extra sacrifices, so to speak.
However, the bone of contention is how do we prepare for such important events without the necessary resources? Our national teams are in dire need of serious financial assistance but this can only be attained if all stakeholders are prepared to roll with the punches and get on board.
The dominant view is that corporate businesses are always reluctant to make their presence felt when it comes to sponsoring national sport codes but are quick to extend a helping hand for clubs, what selective morality is that? I’m just wondering.
The financially stable Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is always willing to assist athletics through large amounts of monies set aside for preparation – why can they also not do the same since the abovementioned codes, especially at development structures, as these are also on the radar of the Olympics, again another act of selective morality. I rest my case.