Transformation in rugby will remain a priority – Mensah…also touches on lack of facilities
Re-elected president of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Corrie Mensah says efforts of transformation and development of rugby in all parts of the country will remain top of the union’s list of priorities as he embarks on his second term as president.
Mensah was re-elected as NRU president for a second term during an elective annual general meeting in the capital, where other additional board members were also elected and audited financial statements were also discussed.
Walter Donn was also re-elected as vice president for governance: James Camm (Central 1 region), Johan Ockhuizen (Central South), Chandler Plato (Western region), Steve van Wyk (Northern region), William Steenkamp (Referees association) and Jannie Potgieter (Schools representative) all retained their respective positions on the board and will all go for another term.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, Mensah expressed delight with his re-election, saying it is proof that the NRU council is pleased with the job done so far. He further assured that his board will continue addressing and prioritising developmental issues, especially the issue of transformation and according all players a chance to showcase their talents.
Under the presidency of Mensah and his team, Namibia was for the first time represented by a fairly balanced squad at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, which included a decent number of players of colour, something that was always an issue in previous World Cup editions.
Mensah strongly believes deserving players should at all times be selected on merit and through fairness – and not based on the club they play for or the colour of their skin.
“The NRU will continue to stand at the forefront ensuring that all Namibian children are given a fair chance play rugby and one day get to represent their country at all levels – and that is what we have been doing for the past years and will continue to do. For us, things should be done on merit; if you look at Namibian rugby back in the early days, we did not have the chance or were not allowed at all to take part in the sport – and that is something that hindered more people of colour to be part of the movement. For us, the main thing is to change that narrative and get everyone involved in the sport, irrespective of your colour or where you come from,” said the veteran sport administrator.
Mensah also touched on the issue of developing the game across the country and how the lack of facilities continues to delay progress on that front.
“On the other hand, to make sure we march to the new normal of giving everyone a chance to play rugby, training and development will require a conducive space and facilities. Developing the sport from a grassroots level will be key in jump-starting all the things and, thus, infrastructures are needed to get things going. At the moment, we do not have enough stadia where our people can train and that is where the government needs to come in. If we can get all these things right then we will surely have a fully-fledged rugby team in Katutura.”
2020-06-30 09:55:26 | 6 days ago