Author: Leonard Kanime
The Tokyo 2020 Namibia’s Olympians, a tale of success has many fathers…
The recent captivating moments at Tokyo 2020 Olympics by the two young Namibian female athletes- Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi cannot be left without being further authored. Despite the challenges faced by the two youthful athletes prior to the game, the charismatic youthful sportspersons and their coach went out with the zeal and bravery to surprise the world and put Namibia in the world view. Certainly, so many people have been searching the country- Namibia, even other athletes, who were in the running squad with the two Namibian athletes should have been searching the country after the race.
Sport continues to be one of the major tools for many countries’ publicity and Namibia is no exception, but do we (Namibia) and Africa, as a whole, invest in this sector to uplift the livelihoods of many youths through various local and regional sporting events? Namibia has many Frankie Fredricks, Harry Simons, Masilingis and Mbomas, but the lack of sport infrastructural development makes majority of aspiring athletes’ dreams go down the valleys, unrecognised and unmentored. Sport is a great way for youths to get active, it teaches teamwork, healthy habits, self-discipline and so many other social skills, all of which are important factors in the youth development. Majority of youths with innate capacities in Namibia have no access to sport infrastructures countrywide. The inequalities in the Namibia school system mean that children often have fewer opportunities to participate and showcase their skills in sport from early ages.
There are so many organisations in the country that can contribute to the sport development, but they never pay attention to investing in this sector, not to mention the government with the mandate to enable the environment to accommodate more sport facilities. Surprisingly, so many of these organisations have been trotting in media with congratulations and well wishes towards the two Tokyo 2020 Namibia’s Olympians, and at the same time indirectly marketing their presences to attract new clients and customers without endorsements. Not to mention the price of the congratulatory adverts, which would be equivalent to buying a sport gear. And during that time, another aspiring youth from Ohangwena region was pleading for sponsorship to participate in the regional competition, I wonder if any of these organisations came to rescue after seeing Namibia’s Tokyo 2020 Olympians making waves in the sport scene. It’s a good deed for organisations to show solidarity and patriotism, but at the same time, it should be awakening moment towards sport development in the country, to address the lack of sport facilities that inhibit so many talents, Namibia would have. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics representation by Namibia, should give us a good picture on why Namibia was not represented in various sport codes. And with no sport classes in many schools or with one class per week dedicated to sport, discovering and grooming talents is a far-fetched dream and we expect the country to be represented by many sportsmen and women in sport events like Olympics. We should as corporate organisations invest in sport facilities, nurturing and sponsoring the talents to take part in local and regional sport events, not only to come in at the end with adverts, banners, slogans and enchantments. Let us be the part of the process not only the results. I am sure, Coach Henk Botha and other coaches have so many aspiring athletes around, but the lack of resources to groom all of them should be an inhibitor.