Schools sports under the spotlight

As the recognised national newspaper, New Era Sports has undertaken to bring to you our esteemed reader, all the latest news about all kinds of schools sports every Wednesday on our sports pages. In today's edition, we take an in-depth look at the ultimate benefits and advantages of having of competitive league in various sporting disciplines across all learning institutions in the country. National Schools Sports Union (NSSU)'s national coordinator Solly Duiker, explains in detail the modus operandi of schools sports and challenges, which led to the alarming declining standards at many government funded schools.

Carlos Kambaekwa

WINDHOEK � Let me first applaud New Era Sports for this long overdue initiative. Truth be told, about 95 percent of schools countrywide are not equipped with qualified teachers in the area of physical education or specialists in various sporting disciplines.

Duiker added that sports at schools enhances academic achievement for learners but the major headache is the virtually none-existence of sports facilities at many a government schools.

And whilst one must applaud the government's decision to scrap school fees � this exercise has yielded negative consequences as schools are now unable to build sport facilities � let alone maintain existing ones. Duiker is adamant that lack of sports at schools ultimately contributes to poor performance academically.

Without sports facilities, schools will not be able to provide sports activities to learners and the dire consequences in this regard is the poor academic performance of learners.

And if you may recall, schools equipped with better sports facilities, notably those from the affluent communities (predominantly white schools) always excelled academically.

He opines that when learners are not exposed to sport at school level, they resort to other activities such as indulging in drugs and alcohol abuse.

The only sporting disciplines that are easily accessible are; football and netball as can be attested by the large number of kids in the informal settlements regularly seen playing football and netball in the dusty streets, Duiker said.

He says plans are underway to have physical education re-introduced at all schools within the not too distant future � though he expresses serious concerns over limited resources to construct sporting facilities.

What worries me gravely is that most new schools that are being constructed have no sport facilities, which is detrimental to the overall growth and development of a child because a child without sport is a child without discipline and self-confidence.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia