• June 2nd, 2020

Uutoni explains low turnout at inaugural sport expo

Maurice Kambukwe

WINDHOEK - Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Erastus Uutoni has explained why the just-ended maiden edition of the first ever Namibia Annual Sports Expo (Nase) - held last weekend in Windhoek - had a low turnout.

The expo, which took place at the Independence and Hage Geingob stadia, had fewer people in attendance than it was anticipated.

In a recent interview with New Era Sports, Uutoni explained that the event was the first of its kind, with many people not fully understanding what the main purpose of the exhibition was.
Uutoni went on to say lack of proper marketing and awareness was another major factor for the low turnout, as many Namibians did not know about the event.

The minister also admitted that hosting the event at two stadia may have been a challenge as it would have been ideal to have people gathered at one place.
“When you start something new, it’s always a challenge. When I addressed the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair in 1997, I only had to address 30 people.

“People don’t understand at first what you are really trying to do but with this one, I was a bit happy because the number was little higher. Secondly, the event was the first of its kind, some people were really not sure of what to do.”

“I think the mistake was having two stadiums for this exhibition, which was Hage Geingob and Independence stadiums, which I strongly believe should have been done at one place. “The distance was also a major factor to the low turnout, many people mostly from Katutura and surrounding areas were willing to come but the distance could not permit them to reach the venue because the cost to reach those venues is high. “It’s the beginning and we all learn from our mistakes.”

Although fewer audiences came to the inauguration of the first ever sport expo, the minister of sport and youth was impressed with the number of exhibitors who took part.

“What impressed me was the number of exhibitors who came in a big number and those exhibitors some of them came to me and said that we did not know that this was the beauty of this exhibition. Some of these exhibitors started interacting amongst themselves. “I was also impressed on the issues we discussed, because we had people who came countries like Senegal, Botswana, and South Africa and some few Region 5 countries who shared their thoughts on what to do for the following edition.”
“They contributed to the discussion which made the gathering so interesting.”

He however said going forward will require a lot of changes and will need everyone to play a part in creating awareness.

“What we need to do more is put more emphasis on marketing, advertisement really need to be increased through social and print media as well as radio, for us to create the awareness and educate people to recognise this event.”

“We are also thinking of mobilising people, what I have in mind is to create awareness through a national walk before the main event. Which will also assist us in gathering funds for the main event,” added Uutoni.

Staff Reporter
2019-09-16 09:17:31 | 8 months ago

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