By Otniel Hembapu
Contrary to popular belief – especially in light of recent financial hassles that have crippled the country’s sports fraternity – the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is not as powerful as many think it is and unless its shortcomings are urgently addressed, I’m afraid it will remain toothless.
On paper and as per its documented mandate, the NSC appears powerful and demands great authority but in reality the NSC lacks so many instruments to fully carry out its mandate of transforming Namibia into a sporting nation that is defined by excellence through sport.
For starters, let me give you a small hint of what is actually expected of the NSC as per its mandate given by government.
As per NSC mandate, here are a few of its directives:
• Coordinate, control, develop and foster sport;
• Ensure proper administration of national sporting bodies;
• Promote highest standards of sportsmanship;
• Ensure opportunities for sport are made available to all people throughout Namibia;
• Encourage the production of sports goods;
• Authorize national and international sports activities or events;
• Advise the minister on the needs of sport;
• Organize courses for sport;
• Assist national sports bodies in recruitment of coaches and instructors;
• Develop, manage and supervise sports facilities under its control;
• Determine and give national sports awards;
• Ensure sporting bodies comply with the Act.
When one looks closely at the above objectives of the NSC, one wonders as to how a Commission that is underfunded and equally understaffed is expected to deliver on all those directives from government. For example, let’s take two points from the abovementioned objectives of the NSC and those are: Promote highest standards of sportsmanship; and Ensure opportunities for sport are made available to all people throughout Namibia.
Now tell me, how do you expect the NSC to ensure opportunities for sport are made available to all people throughout Namibia, if the NSC itself does not even have regional offices or regional coordinators to decentralize its services to all Namibians?
The NSC does not even have adequate resources and assets to seriously coordinate, control, develop and foster sport in the country. The only thing the NSC owns is perhaps its Windhoek head office and a few cars used for administrative purposes.
In order to ensure that opportunities for sport are made available to all Namibians and that sport in the country is perfectly coordinated, controlled and developed, the NSC would need to be equipped with all the resources it needs; such as at least sub-offices in all regions and well trained regional coordinators to ensure they spread the NSC message and activities countrywide.
If it proves costly to implement the above objectives, then the NSC leadership and the line ministry should sit together and map out a way on how all the ministry’s underused and seemingly directionless regional sports officers can be used to make the NSC’s work and outreach programmes much easier.
Because as it stands now, most of the country’s regional sports officers are not visible and nobody knows what they actually do as community sport is dead in most parts of Namibia. So, as opposed to wasting taxpayers’ money on those sports officers, let’s rather integrate their functions with those of the NSC and see how the two parties will function collectively in taking sports activities out to the people. Until next time, sharp sharp!!