Lack of funding for many local sport codes has not spared the Namibia Volleyball Federation (NVF) since its participation at international competitions has been handicapped for the past couple of years.
Categorised as a B sport code from the 52 codes affiliated to the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), it receives a mere N$15 000 annual grant for administration, sport development and for international participation, which is way below the actual budget.
NVF vice president, Joel Mathews told V-Sports in an interview that the meagre grant they receive from the NSC cannot even cater for a national team if it were to travel even just up to the country’s border.
“We would really like to host international competitions but for one to host an event sanctioned by the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB), a winner has to walk away with at least N$80 000, which is way beyond our reach,” he said.
Mathews added that their annual Beach Open Championship in Swakopmund is sponsored by Bank Windhoek, which attracts international players from neighbouring countries within Sadc. Therefore, prize monies are very significant for events of that calibre.
“It’s very difficult to run a volleyball national team with just a N$15 000 budget to cater for a delegation comprising of 28 players including officials. It is not practical to compete internationally, not even in South Africa,” he stressed, adding that with no official sponsor for volleyball as a sport code, it has not been easy to make any impact in regional competitions.
“We do have active countries like Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe whose clubs have won previous Zone Six Club Championships of which we are still to win,” he said.
Mathews raised his concern over the unavailability of funds to cater for the Zone Six Club Championships slated for Lusaka, Zambia next month.
“These teams (sic) have had to source for their own funds and perhaps we assist them financially with our limited resources and from the money we make from the NVF Cup this month,” said a worried Mathews.
The teams expected to compete in Lusaka are the NVF women’s team and the Khomas Nampol women’s volleyball side who are the runners up while in the men’s division of the Bank Windhoek National League will be the Khomas Nampol men’s team and SKW.
He said although Namibia’s senior national teams are quite inactive, they are looking forward to next year’s Zone Six Volleyball Championships to be hosted by a country yet to be announced.
“I must admit that we do not have facilities of international repute to really improve local volleyball standards. Ask any player who is over 30 years old to play and they will complain of a lower back pain, a knee injury or an ankle problem, simply because of the concrete surface on which they play on,” he said.
Just like any other sport administrator, Mathews called upon Government to invest more in sport infrastructure (facilities).