Namibia’s young upcoming athletes now have an opportunity to put a smile on local sports fans’ faces when the country hosts the Cossasa Ball Games, after a poor showdown of the elite athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The national teams comprising of the under-13 and 17s for both sexes aim at improving their second placing on overall at the 2010 ball games held in Swaziland, after South Africa snatched the spotlight to be crowned the champions.
Government gave the Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU) N$1m to host the annual Confederation of School Sports Associations of Southern Africa games billed for later this month.
NSSU national co-ordinator, Solly Duiker told The Villager Sports that member countries have been streaming in their interests, with countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe already submitting confirmations for participation.
“There is a strong possibility for South Africa to confirm participation as they are busy putting up structures for a national sports union while communication is expected from Malawi,” said Duiker.
Swaziland will not compete at this year’s event due to financial constraints, he added.
Duiker said the N$1m from Government will be used to cover the visitors’ expenses like accommodation, meals and transport.
“Our preparations will start on 19th of this month during the school holidays up until the 28th; two days before the opening ceremony at the Independence Stadium,” he informed.
The 13th edition will culminate with the NSSU’s 21st anniversary of which Miss NSSU shall be crowned at a beauty pageant.
The Cossasa Ball Games will feature basketball (under-17 boys and girls), football (under-13 and 17 both sexes), netball (under 13 and 17 only girls) and volleyball (under 13 and 17 for both girls and boys).
“Well, we only did well in football, netball and volleyball but poorly in basketball. So we hope our basketball team will do better this time around as we really want to be crowned the champions,” said Duiker.
Despite the N$1m financial injection from Government, Duiker calls on the private sector to come on board and assist where possible.
According to him, all could never have been smooth in terms of preparation if it were not for the backing from financial institutions such as Bank Windhoek, FNB Namibia, Consolidated Sugar and Exco Sport that have decided to be part and parcel of the ball games from the start.