A new umbrella body for Namibian sport, the Namibia Uniformed Forces, was launched at the Namibia Sport Commission on Tuesday.
At a press conference, the chief administrator of the NSC, Fred Mwiya said it was a momentous occasion.
"The Namibia Sport Commission is making history today and this has been long overdue. At the moment we have 49 sport codes registered with the NSC, while we have four umbrella bodies, and today we are now launching the the fifth arm of the umbrella bodies," he said.
"It started a long time ago in 2019 when we had a small workshop where we deliberated a lot about an umbrella body for the uniformed forces. In 2020 we started crafting the document together with the colleagues from the forces, and it was a very deep exercise that needed a lot of consultation," he added.
The uniformed forces is made up of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), the Namibian Police (Nampol) and the Namibian Correctional Services (NCS), and now joins the other four umbrella bodies under the NSC, namely the Namibia School Sport Union (NSS), the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (Tisan), Namibia Women in Sport Association (Nawisa) and Disability Sport Namibia (DSN).
Mwiya said a draft constitution had been drawn up and an interim committee elected to run its affairs.
"It was a very costly exercise, but we had a lot of consultations with their line of different ministries and at the end of last year we drafted a document, with an interim committee being put in place and a draft constitution being drawn up," he said.
"The interim committee was elected to run their affairs for a number of months, before they call their official AGM where they will endorse their constitution and ensure that free and fair elections are conducted," he added.
Mwiya said with uniformed forces had produced a lot of top sportsmen and women in Namibia.
"If you look at professional boxing, most of them come from the uniformed forces and if you look at the Namibian team going to the Olympics, Helalia Johannes also comes from the uniformed forces, so they have produced a number of elite athletes," he said.
"It is a blessing that we have this type of umbrella body now within our ranks, so that we can coordinate their activities, because we know they have a lot of expertise in terms of coaches, athletes and various other areas," he added.
The acting chairman of the new body, chief inspector Kenneth Muatara of Nampol thanked the NSC for the opportunity to join as an umbrella body.
"We are thankful for the opportunity to come up with this constitution where all uniformed forces members are working together as one team, and where we can do physical activity, which is required for uniformed members to perform their duty."
He said they now formed part of the NSC and would not operate in isolation anymore.
"This means that we are now able to do things within a legal framework as per the Sport Act, and not in isolation any more. At the same time, we are not only using our members, we are also using community members, many champions and many young people are with us, so that is part of our contribution to the NDP 5," he said.
Muatara said its members were currently active in a lot of different sport codes, while they were also introducing new codes.
Äll sport codes are included at the uniformed forces and we are now even going to introduce sports like cycling, swimming, rugby and cricket, we are already making all the preparations so that we can engage with different federations. We will work hard to make sure that we make this country proud."
Mwiya said the new umbrella body would help to coordinate games and competitions amongst the uniformed forces.
"In the past there were separate competitions for the defence force, or the police and correctional services, but now they are combined and can also compete against each other. For instance in athletics they will all come together to see who is the best uniformed forces."
He added that other uniformed forces like security guards could possibly also become associate members in future.
"We first looked at government forces but once the constitution is adopted we can try and open it up so that others can become associate members."
The interim committee of the Uniformed Forces consists of Ali Nuumbembe of the NDF (chairperson), Kenneth Muatara of Nampol (vice chairperson), Victoria Nghiludilwa and Absalom Mushaandja (NCS), Julius Indongo, Fortune Eichab and Ernst Narib (Nampol), Wenceslaus Klaasman (NCS), and Frans Hosea and Gottlieb Iivulika (NDF).