2014 Commonwealth Games – Sports Administrators Take Stock of Performance

With this year’s Commonwealth Games having wrapped up its action on Sunday evening in Glasgow, Scotland, countries are down to serious business and have already started taking stock of their on-and-off the field successes.

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games being one of Namibia’s ultimate goals, various local sports administrators yesterday expressed mixed feelings as to what the future holds for Namibia heading to the 2016 Games, while gly suggest it’s time the country revisits the drawing board.

Namibia went to the Glasgow games with 33 athletes to compete in more than 8 sport codes and only managed to bring home 3 medals, a silver in boxing and 2 bronze medals in Para-sport, finishing 26th overall from the 71 participating countries.

Team Namibia’s performance at this year’s Commonwealth Games failed to eclipse their 2010 performance in Delhi, India, where the country finished 27th from a total of 71 countries.

Chief Administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Shivute Katamba, insisted that the country has plenty of talented athletes who boast the potential of bringing medals home from international competitions such the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. He quickly conceded that should the country fail to set its priorities right in the near future, Namibia’s presence at international competitions would die a natural death.

Katamba said if Namibia is to realise all its dreams at the 2016 Olympics, now is the opportune time for the country to adequately start funding various athletes preparatory programmes while also doubling efforts in areas of talent identification, especially in Para-sport.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF), Joe Kaperu, also shared the same sentiments as Katamba, saying it’s time the country moves away from its habit of comparing the current crop of athletes to the likes of Frank Fredericks and Harry Simon, amongst other greats, and rather start implementing programmes that will help produce other Frank Fredericks and Harry Simons ahead of the 2016 Olympics. The out-spoken Kaperu also touched on the issue of lack of adequate funding, saying there is a dire need for the Namibian government to start channeling sufficient funds to the sports sector as it is the only way Namibia will leave its mark on the international sports arena.

Athletics Namibia (AN) President, Alna Similo also joined the chorus in urging government to loosen its purse when it comes to funding sports development programmes and athletes’ preparatory programmes ahead of major competitions.

Taking an overview of Namibia’s performance at various editions of the Commonwealth Games, at the 1994 Games in Vancouver, Canada, where the country made its debut, Namibia won 2 medals, a gold and silver medals and finished 18th overall from 63 countries.

At the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Namibia won 3 medals, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals, and finished 25th overall from a total of 70 countries. In 2002 at the Manchester Games in England, Namibia scooped 4 medals, 1 gold and 4 bronze medals to finish 23rd from 72 countries.

In Melbourne, Australia in 2006, Namibia finished 17th overall from 71 countries after clinching 1 gold and 1 bronze, while 2010 in Delhi, India, Namibia bagged 3 medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals to end 27th overall from 71 countries.

Source : New Era