Basketball league kicks off despite challenges
The Khomas Primary School Basketball League (KPSBL) which hosts over 30 schools has successfully lift off despite the financial hurdles that the league has had to overcome, in the past, due to little or no funding for day to day activities.
The KPSBL which has survived solely on sponsorship from Zulu Wear (ZW) is hosting 31 primary schools, league, Chairperson Tuhafeni Hilukiluah told The Villager newspaper while adding that the sports has received very little funding from the Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF).
The league also does not receive any funding from or through the Namibia Sports Commission.
“Due to mismanagement of funds by the administrators of the Namibia Basketball Federation in the past the sport is looked at as a bad sport that won’t go forward even though corporate companies would want to come on board as sponsors because of the reputation caused by the federations management in the past,” Hilukiluah said.
He added that most companies are reluctant to make any kind of commitment towards the KPSBL because of the shadow that hangs over the sport code in the country caused by the previous management of the basketball federation of which the league is affiliated to.
According to Hilukiluah, despite lack of experienced coaches amongst teachers, the team players of the league are very committed to taking part in the league and there has been a great change in the league since in terms of player’s participation.
The KPSBL is currently the most active basketball in the country The Villager found.
“Teams continuously take part in the league despite few challenges and it is safe to say that primary school kids really enjoy basketball as it is a non-contact sport and very safe and good for player’s health as well. It is a healthy sport and Kids learn to communicate and trust each other as friends on basketball courts as well as off courts,” Hilukiluah said.
He added that the league is currently in a very competitive stage whereby primary school teams are taking part consistently in games as most players have already gained experience in the sport.
The Villager found that there is lack of teachers willing to sacrifice their time for some of the primary school teams and non- teachers take up duties as coaches for the love of basketball as a sport code in the country.
Most of the team coaches of the KPSBL are not experienced and need basic coaching training to perfect their teams for league games.
Lack of proper basketball courts also affect performance of team’s and focus of players as the players are still young and focus on facilities.
“Lack of facilities for teams to practice on and host games is another challenged faced by the teams as some basketball courts at schools need upgrading and this is affecting performance of players,” Hilukiluah said.
He added the outdoor basketball court at the Deutsche Hohere Private Schule (DHPS) is being used to facilitate most of the KPSB league games as it is one of the few courts in a favorable condition.
When approached for comment on mismanagement of funds by the NBF administration, the Administration Officer (AO) of NBF, Nigel Muwanigwe, explained that there is a new administration committee and he could not comment much.
“The structure has been redeveloped and I am not aware of any mismanagement of funds. This is a new committee, the current committee has never been implicated in mismanagement of funds and those are allegations that were leveled against the previous administration and I say allegations,” Muwanigwe said.
He added that the NBF is currently working on a development program to introduce basketball in the primary school curriculum for learners and teachers to have a broader understating about the sport code.
Currently Peoples Primary School, Highlands Christian School and Constantia Private School are on top of the league respectively, and Holly Cross Convent, AI Steenkamp Primary School and Mandume Primary School are at the bottom of the league log standing respectively.