Geingob Calls for Support for Welwitschias

Prime Minister Hage Geingob called on the Namibian government and the private sector to rally together and support the national rugby team, the Welwitschias in its preparations for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Geingob was speaking at a reception for the national team at his office on Wednesday where several other Ministers and government officials were also in attendance to welcome the team back.

They included Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi Minister of Education, David Namwandi Minister of Information and Technology, Joel Kaapanda and Minister of Finance, Sarah Kuugongelwa.

Geingob joked that he had invited the Minister of Finance to ensure that the team is budgeted for in the coming year.

“I’ve brought the Minister of Finance along today. They will prepare the budget in October and the Sport Ministry must put you in their budget,” he said.

He congratulated the team on qualifying for the World Cup and said they would now need the support of the nation.

“I’m appealing to the government and the private sector, they must really step up now and we are going to approach this together, all of us. We must broaden the base and deliver quality rugby,” he said.

Geingob said it was a great honour for Namibia to qualify for the World Cup, but that it was now time to start winning.

“You have to be proactive now. You are playing the world champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia but we are from the land of the brave. You must not go there just to participate, you must go to compete and win at least one game,” he said.

“We have qualified for four World Cups and I was at three of them. Now you will qualify for your fifth World Cup. That’s a great honour for our country, but now we must also play to win. You can only do that if you get the support from all of us,” he said.

The president of the Namibia Rugby Union, Bradley Basson thanked Geingob for the reception and promised that Namibia would shock the world at the World Cup.

“It’s a great privilege for us to be here. We will have a huge task when we play the All Blacks but we have seen that nothing is impossible and we must go to be victorious. This team showed exceptional character against Madagascar and if we play like that we can shock the world,” he said.

Meanwhile Basson told The Namibian Sport that they were looking at several options with regard to organising competitive matches for the Welwitschias.

“There’s the possibility of an outbound European tour in November and our CEO just came back from South Africa where he was trying to secure matches for us. We are hoping to play the Lions, the Cheetahs or the Sharks in October as part of preparatory matches for our outbound tour.”

“If we do not tour in November there is also the possibility of staging our Tri-Nations tournament which we hosted so successfully over the past two years. Then there’s also the option of the Vodacom Cup next year, but we have to reassess what will suit our needs the best within the budget we have,” he said.

Source : The Namibian