• June 5th, 2020

Veii irked by slow implementation of AUSC programmes …laments self-centered coordinators

WINDHOEK – Namibian veteran sports administrator and chairman of the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii says deserving athletes from member countries continue to be short-changed by coordinators who fail to implement and promulgate important AUSC programmes.

AUSC Region 5 is the sports arm of the African Union, which was formed in the 1960s with the aim of using AUSC as a vehicle to achieve peace, integration and unity in Africa through sports. 

Top of the AUSC agenda is the use of its various pro-Africa tailored programmes to encourage the continent’s inhabitants to develop and come together as one, irrespective of their colour, political, class, gender or economic status. The AUSC is divided into seven competition zones due to the vastness of the continent and for financial prudence. 

The main consideration for dividing AUSC into seven competition zones was also due to the member countries’ geographical positions. Namibia is one of the 10 member states of the AUSC, with the others being Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Speaking at the recent launch of the 2019 edition of the prestigious AUSC Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA) at the Windhoek Country Club in Namibia’s metropolis, a displeased Veii said AUSC has plenty of programmes on its radar that are perfectly tailor-made to help bolster the performance of the region’s athletes but many a time the coordinators and desk officers tasked with implementing such programmes remain AUSC’s biggest stumbling blocks.

Veii, a former sports director in the line ministry, said he was disappointed to note that not all member countries are aware of an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the AUSC has with the Pretoria High Performance Centre.
According to Veii, the MoU makes provision for each member country to identify two medal potential athletes (one male and one female) and their coaches to attend scientific testing and coaching sessions every quarter at the High Performance Centre on the cost of AUSC, especially when such athletes are preparing for major international competitions. 

Also, when done with their training at the High Performance Centre, athletes and coaches will be given a tailored training programme that they will use when back in their native countries under the supervision of their coaches – but despite AUSC’s commitment to bear all costs for the High Performance Centre programme, member states continue to underutilise this opportunity.

“This is a MoU that has been in place for a while now and is there for our member states to use but time and again we hear of athletes stranded and in need of money to go to the High Performance Centre. But we have a MoU to help our athletes in that regard. AUSC continues to train and host workshops for desk officers and coordinators to equip them well so they implement important programmes of this nature but when you look on the ground, nothing is happening despite our efforts…I seriously don’t know where the problem is, maybe people are just interested in traveling for the sake of traveling and pocketing S&T at the expense of athletes. But it cannot continue like this,” said a dismayed Veii.

“Even in the case of Namibia, a member of the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) was sent last year to attend workshops for these programmes but when you look at AUSC programmes here in Namibia, nothing is happening on the ground. Local athletes and federations here don’t even know about the MoU we have with the Pretoria High Performance Centre, which is part of AUSC’s Podium Performance Programme (PPP). PPP is an important programmes aimed helping the region’s athletes perform better at international events,” added Veii.

The Podium Performance Programme was launched in 2015 and aims at providing the region’s high performance athletes with opportunities to enhance their performance in training and competition. The PPP also provides support services to athletes with the potential to win medals at major competitions including the Olympic Games. 
The Programme is based on seven elements of high performance sport such as talent development, training, sport science, capacity development, competition and financial support.

Otniel Hembapu
2019-03-12 10:32:34 | 1 years ago

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