17 August 2012

Namibia: Shooting From the Hip - Now Is the Time to Clean the Stables


FOR quite some time now, many a sporting discipline in Namibia has been a work in progress and this trend appears to present no end in sight as the nation picks up the pieces in the aftermath of Team Namibia's serial failures to make their presence felt at major international events, including the just ended 2012 London Olympics.

It seems some of those who shamed our nation are not short of arrogance or else how does one sum up comments by one Marc Bassingthwaghte, that he has indeed achieved his main objective by finishing a distant 30th in the mountain bike race.

Namibia has been a sad and sorry case at the multi-sport global showpiece, awful in the track and field events, mediocre in trading leather (boxing), cycling and the shooting discipline and when the time came to raise their hopes in the final stretch - our athletes fell way short in terms of technical or tactical ability, let alone demonstrating any competitive edge.

Our dismal failure to make our presence felt is a reminder of how far behind the rest of Africa and the world we have fallen, while congratulating ourselves on the undisputed exploits of Frank Fredericks during his heyday as a world acclaimed sprinter. A brutal pattern reasserted itself when all but one of our nine representatives failed to negotiate their way past the preliminary rounds.

One can only hope that some of the thick skulled sports officials have learned a useful lesson and start realising that preparing against second-rate athletes in neigbouring South Africa is not the ultimate solution. Sit down and engage in some serious retrospection to establish where we have gone wrong and how we can rectify our mistakes by mapping out a comprehensive blueprint for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil. Planning and preparation should start now without further delay - that ladies and gentlemen, is the bottom line!

Dull NPL maneuverings

Without any iota of doubt, the recent shenanigans at the MTC Namibia Premier League awards was a clear manifestation of individuals obsessed with power but somehow bereft of the slightest intellectualism to purse the same.

The shoddy fashion in which they selected winners in the various categories still remains open for debate and falls far short of objectivity and transparency as can be attested to by many enlightened and principled individuals, because during that farce we witnessed the desperation of a significant number of these self-styled football gurus to satisfy their baser desires. That debacle, we pray, should always come back to haunt them.

Some things just never change, yours truly bets his last penny that the country's elite league will kick-off its activities this term in the unexplained and continuouss absence of a Dispute Resolution Chamber for the umpteenth time - an exercise that makes a mockery of the league.

Time to cleanse the Augean stable

The Namibian government may have to look at the burning issue of sport from an entirely new perspective if it is really serious in its pursuit to arrest the downward spiral of our sports in general.

Lawmakers must introduce hard and fast rules that will encourage corporate businesses to invest aggressively in the development of sports and use sports as a meaningful tool to unite communities and alleviate poverty, while at the same time creating meaningful employment opportunities for young people.

Common sense suggests that the most essential solution would be to relax the tax laws on companies that are regularly pumping money into sport. I rest my case.

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