So, the newly introduced much-trumpeted Bank Windhoek National Netball League for senior schools has finally come full circle.
Yours truly vividly remembers posing a question to the event organisers during the launch about the genuine purpose of this youth tournament but although a half-hearted response was advanced, I still had serious reservations about the modus operandi of the construction of the league.
Looking at the composition of the identified schools to participate in this supposedly august gathering left me suspicious that such a tournament would not serve any purpose in terms of national reconciliation, as it appeared to have been tailormade to advance the interests of only a certain group.
Firstly, without beating about the bush, the overall composition of entrants in this supposedly national event does not reflect the genuine demographic representation of our beloved land of the brave nor does it travel in tandem with the Namibian Head of State’s Harambee Prosperity Plan with the slogan “Nobody should feel left out”!!!
Let us calculate and fairly interrogate the criteria of the selected schools to participate in the national senior schools netball league. A significant chunk of these schools are housing learners from the affluent suburbs financed by the deep pockets of their parents.
Dear readers, please pardon my ignorance, but my sincere understanding of the purpose of such a tournament is to expose gifted athletes to high-level competition and ultimately unearthing untapped raw talent.
Does it perhaps ring a bell that the competition is only confined to private schools with representation from a few selected towns, Otjiwarongo, Tsumeb, Walvis Bay, Rehoboth and the city of Windhoek only? I’m just asking.
I am damn sure many of you would scorn to own the author in a lie if I dare say that any developmental sports programmes that exclude rural schools are destined for stray dogs.
A bone to pick with NNOC
Unfolding events in the aftermath of Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas’ alleged sexual assault cannot be left unchallenged because this brings one to the conclusion that we should not underestimate the real value of sports and its key principals.
As it stands, there is an urgent need for the Namibian Olympic movement, NNOC, to confine itself to realities and future possibilities. It is a well documented secret that Namibian sports is the last agenda on our government’s list of priorities but we must collectively find a way to define sports as a vital tool of social and economic value as well as nation building.
As has been proven over the years, Frankie Fredericks is a case in point, success at international level rubs off on the country’s inhabitants and enhances international relations whereupon it teaches people to respect each other in the broader aspect, ultimately minimising social conflicts.
In hindsight, African governments, Namibia in particular, needs to quantify sports if they are to embrace the genuine value of sports.
The unfortunate issue of Jonas invites more questions than answers notably the manner and premises in which the NNOC hierarchy entered the debate.
From the onset, this matter should have been dealt with at governmental level but since NNOC has already made it crystal clear that is does not resort under government and is an autonomous body – it resolved to flex its muscles and tackle the issue on its own.
Many a sporting body has this tendency conveniently protected by the international presiding sports bodies.
They would tell governments in no uncertain terms to stop interfering with the fashion in which they operate but are always quick out of the blocks cap in hand requesting government’s intervention whenever the going gets tough. So, where do we draw the line here?
NNOC must come clear about its status and modus operandi since it now appears the chickens have finally come home to roost.
This is the same organisation that saw it fit to remove the Namibian Coat of Arms, including the customary fish eagle badge from the NNOC emblem, but now wants government intervention despite having told government where to get off. This is exactly what happens when corners are cut. Case closed, I’m off. Cheerio!!