Let’s make Athletics Namibia (AN) great again

Let’s make Athletics Namibia (AN) great again

Let me first and foremost congratulate the newly-elected leadership of Athletics Namibia (AN), the country’s athletics presiding authority and one Namibia’s most important sports federations.

Having extended my warm greetings to AN’s new president Erwin Naimwaka and his entire team, let me also further use this opportunity to wish you (the entire leadership team) much strength, determination and wisdom as those are some of the qualities or attributes that will help you in fully executing AN’s mandate and subsequently delivering on the promises you (Naimwaka) and your team made when you took office recently.

While wishing the new AN leadership the best of luck, let me also be quick to remind them that it will not be an easy task but with sheer determination, I’m sure anything is attainable.

Ask me why I’m saying that reviving the fortunes of AN won’t be an easy task? Look, what I’m saying is that Naimwaka and his team inherited an organisation that almost lost its relevance in the local sport fraternity and at times it appeared as if the previous AN headship had lost total focus of where and how they wanted to get to their preferred destination – dispute the privileges and exposure of overseeing one of the country top sport codes.

For many years now, even before the previous leadership of Alna Similo and her team, AN was in serious shambles on all accounts – from fading financial muscles to losing total relevance in as far as the visibility of its development programmes and policies are concerned.

By birth and as per mandate, I thought AN’s sole purpose is to pin their heads to the strongest objectives of making sure that athletics is fully developed countrywide and that all Namibians enjoy the benefits of its various developmental programmes and policies.

My desire is to see AN create conditions under which as many athletes as possible can express their potential in various regional and national competitions and derive the maximum benefit from the sport – but from what I have seen in the last few years, I’m afraid we are still far behind.

With Naimwaka now on board – and as per his promises – I really hope the brother won’t waste further time engaging in endless and equally unproductive boardroom gathering but will rather kick off his tenure with visits to various parts of the country just to familiarise himself with the situation on the ground as far as lack of athletics facilities and development programmes are concerned.

Another important but yet scary aspect that will also need Naimwaka’s urgent and undivided attention will be to revive the dying culture of athletics in the country – from schools level and elite level. Hence my advice is that he must first develop a string of good relations and have Memorandum of Understandings (MoU)’s in place with important organs such as the Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU), regional clubs and various crucial stakeholders.

Another important area is the department of coaching because should we further continue to lack in that area, I’m afraid we won’t be able to tap into the potential of all Namibians. To carry out their work effectively, coaches need proper education and training in order for them to be able to transfer the knowledge and skills to the targeted masses, and that’s why I’m calling on Naimwaka to zoom into that space with a serious desire to get results.

Without going too deep into details, the areas of focus that I would like to see the new AN headship place special emphasis on are areas of coaching as I said, good organisation of competitions, creating opportunities, availing needed facilities and equipment as well as scientific and medical support to its affiliates. Like I earlier said, with sheer determination, wisdom and will-power, anything is attainable.
Until next time, sharp sharp!!

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