The Namibian (Windhoek)

29 January 2013

Namibia: Broader Sport for Schools

The Namibia Schools' Sports Union (NSSU) is planning to reintroduce a number of sport codes and to add some new ones in schools countrywide.

NSSU national coordinator Solly Duiker said the union has identified some sport codes that need to be brought to public schools since these codes form part of international competitions.

Among these are cricket, swimming and tennis, which did not form part of rural schools' curricula before, while sports like boxing were practised before but have been neglected.

"Starting this year, we would like to give learners different choices which will fit their talents, instead of focusing on only a few codes that may not interest all learners," he said.

According to Duiker, perceptions have been created that some codes such as cricket, swimming and tennis are only for urban areas, saying the union "wants to eliminate this mentality and get sport to all corners of Namibia".

The NSSU coordinator was also of the opinion that pressure on teachers to concentrate more on the academic side of learners' development leaves little time for physical activity.

Other factors are a lack of equipment and teachers' limited knowledge of sport and coaching.

The NSSU will therefore soon start training teachers who would like to get involved in sport, as well as volunteers who will assist them, to equip everyone with the necessary skills and knowledge.

"We are in partnership with all sports federations to assist with the training of teachers," he said.

Duiker also announced a new programme called 'Kids Athletics', which is specifically earmarked for the age group nine to 12.

The programme, which kicked off this month, will help to identify and groom athletes from a young age.

It has been introduced in the Kavango Region and plans are afoot to branch out to other regions, with the Khomas Region next on the list.

The NSSU is also working hand-in-hand with Disability Sport Namibia (DSN) to address the needs of learners with disabilities.

With these big plans for the future also come a number of challenges such as transport and finance as the body's only support in this regard is from Government.

Preparations are underway to get sponsorships for the materials needed for the implementation of sport activities, and Duiker indicated that the NSSU would not allow these challenges to affect its programmes as they do proper planning well in advance of events. - Nampa

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