Windhoek — After tabling its first ever staggering budget of about N$23 million to cover all its activities for the year 2013, Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sybrand de Beer yesterday told New Era Sports that the NRU is still negotiating with various potential sponsors and remains positive about its prospects.
Although De Beer admitted that this year's N$23 million budget is the highest ever the NRU has tabled, he insisted that it is justified and in the best interest of Namibian rugby. De Beer says the 2013 budget is aimed at optimising the country's level of participation, internationally.
The NRU needs about N$2.3 million for the U-19 team to participate at the upcoming 6th edition of the 2013 International Rugby Board (IRB) Junior Rugby World Trophy, which starts on May 28 in Chile, while they also require another N$2.8 million for the national senior team to compete in the Vodacom Cup Challenge, which starts in March.
De Beer says they are well aware of the challenges they would face in obtaining such a huge sum of money, but maintained that with the full support of the IRB, the NRU is prepared to go the extra mile in making sure that Namibia participates in the aforementioned competitions.
De Beer added that the NRU also has plans to introduce a local Regional Rugby League, where teams from the various regions and lower leagues will get a chance to compete against each other, adding that the competition would be played over one month.
According to him the rationale behind the introduction of such a tourney is to speed up the development programmes of the NRU at all levels, and no less than N$200 000 will be needed to make this event a reality.
In an effort to provide local rugby fans with competitive and quality rugby, the NRU also plans to introduce a Sevens Tournament for which an estimated N$13.3 million will be required. Meanwhile, the elite domestic league is still without a main sponsor and clubs are still carrying their own costs, following the withdrawal of the MTC sponsorship late last year.