New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Time to Reduce Sports Codes ? Amos Shiyuka

Lusaka — Namibia Sports Commissioner Amos Shiyuka believes the time has finally come for Namibia to strategize and wholly concentrate on supporting sports codes that the nation is good at, rather than to have government pumping money into sports codes that are dormant.

"We are a small nation that is scattered all over the country, with very limited facilities and financial resources. Hence, it does not make sense to have more than 50 national sports codes," Shiyuka said in an interview with Nampa during the recently concluded Zone VI Games, held in Lusaka, Zambia.

Shiyuka believes if Namibia is to develop and have strong competitive sports codes, the country seriously needs to invest in sports disciplines that have the potential to conquer the world and put Namibia high on the international sporting map.

Shiyuka added that the country only needs about 10 to 15 of the top performing national sports codes, since it will be the only way government and other corporate companies will fully get a chance to be involved in the development of local sports from the grassroots level.

According to Shiyuka, some of the top sports codes are swimming, athletics, rugby, boxing, football, tennis, netball, hockey, cricket, basketball and volleyball.

He is also of the opinion that talent scouting must start in all 13 regions of the country with the aim of finding the right athletes for the right sports codes.

Namibia should also create relationships with various countries which can assist in developing selected talented athletes, he added, and suggested that Namibia should send Namibian basketball players to Angola for training, amateur boxers to Cuba and netball players to South Africa and Malawi for preparations, as these countries excel in those disciplines.

Sports administrator and member of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), Ndeulipula Hamutumwa, also shared similar sentiments. Hamutumwa said in identifying such sports codes and athletes, there will also be a need for a holistic support system which will include providing them with good training facilities, giving them adequate international exposure and medical support, as well as good education.

Shiyuka and Hamutumwa are both of the opinion that sports codes such as fishing, darts, table tennis and others should be played on a more social basis, and should not be regarded as national sports codes in which the government pumped millions of dollars, while they do not deliver. - Nampa

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