National sports conference ends in the capital

WINDHOEK: The National sports conference which started in the capital on Thursday, ended on Saturday.

The conference was hosted by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), and was the first of its kind to be held in the country since Independence in 1990.

Held under the theme ‘Creating a winning sporting nation’ it was amongst others aimed at identifying challenges impacting the quality of Namibia’s sportsmen and women’s performance.

It was also aimed at identifying opportunities for growth, and to develop strategies that will increase and enhance the levels of participation in local sports.

The conference held discussions around issues such as the development of sport in Namibia since Independence and the importance of Physical Education (PE) in schools and tertiary institutions, and reviewed the sports legal framework in the country.

Cooperation between ministries and members of society to put sport at the centre of agendas to work together and achieve set goals was recommended.

It was also recommended that the line ministry (of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture) do an inventory of the current sports codes and improve on those that have successful athletes and players.

Amongst others, current sports codes that are active in Namibia are boxing under the Namibian Boxing Federation, chess under the Namibia Chess Federation, and football under the Namibia Football Association (NFA).

Hosting of successful sports events and business in sports was also discussed.

The conference in addition looked at the categorisation of sports codes in Namibia, capacity building, athlete preparation and team delivery for major events, as well as complete inclusion of people living with disabilities in sport and transformation in sports.

On the closing day, the conference discussed issues of infrastructure, development and resource availability, as well as sport funding, recognition and the reward system in Namibia.

Most of the delegates who attended the conference on Saturday agreed on key points raised by panellists while discussing funding in local sports.

The panellists agreed that local sportsmen and women are under-funded, called upon corporate companies to come on board.

Addressing the conference before it ended, City of Windhoek Deputy Mayor Muesee Kazapua advised the NSC to make presentations to Government when they need assistance of any kind.

Kazapua stressed that Government should start recognising sportsmen and women similar to the way in which war veterans are being recognised.

“Government must start recognising these people who are putting our flag on the world map like the war veterans, these people are veterans too,” he said, adding that Government must also start recognising sport as a profession.