8 November 2012

Namibia Budgets N$5 Million for 2016

THE Namibia National Olympic Committee has budgeted N$5 million to prepare for the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

This budget will only cater for athletes who make the grade for the Rio Games, according to NNOC secretary general Abner Xoagub.

The qualified athletes are expected to prepare sufficiently with these funds in order to be in a position to challenge for honours at the global spectacle.

With the exception of Johanna Benson’s surprise Paralympic Games medal double, Namibia failed to make headway at the 2012 Olympics.

“What we are asking for is very moderate. We looked at the athlete quota we had for the London Games and added 10 percent. If it happens that we have a team qualifying then we will have to adjust the budget accordingly,” Xoagub said.

Namibia’s limited budget arguably mirrors the expectations and interests of those at the helm of sport in the country.

Xoagub admitted as much, saying that that while they required significantly more funds than the submitted amount, the likelihood that it would be approved by the purse holders was slim.

In comparison, South Africa’s Sport and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has asked for R400 million to help boost their athletes’ competitiveness at the next Olympic Games.

The funds would be primarily used to enable South Africa’s elite athletes to be part of high-level competitions in Europe over the next four years.

Nigerian president Goodluck Johnathan is said to have thrown his weight behind his country’s aspirations for 2016. Nigeria’s sport ministry has reportedly asked for 7 billion Naira (about N$328 million) to ensure improved results at the Games.

Further afield, the United Kingdom has pledged 508 million pounds.

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