Ballroom and Latin Dancing which is a new sport code introduced in the country this month has already set it’s eyes on the market despite a big challenge ahead of it in a quest of becoming a popular sport code in the country, Writes Michael Uugwanga.
The sport was introduced by the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) in Windhoek during the organization’s 20th anniversary in order to formalize the recognition of dancing disciplines after it was registered with the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC).
Tatiana Sikwila is the co-ordinator of Ballroom and Latin Dancing sport and who said that the initiative of the sport is to distract the youth from evil activities such as drug and alcohol abuse.
“WAD decided that they need to come up with something in order to distract the youth away from evil activities such as drugs and alcohol abuse. Not only is the initiatives aimed at the two I just mentioned but also to reduce the unemployment among the youth because this means that the youth will have something to keep themselves busy.
Sikwila also added, “The sport is not yet big as other sport codes as we are still new in the market. Yes we do have a market for it, it is only that people still do not know the sport as they only see it on TV. We just have to create an awareness campaign about the sport in order to make it visible of what it can offers,” said Sikwila
The sport codes is sanctioned and regulated by dance sport organisation at the national and international level, such as the World Dance Sport Federation.
WDF, formally the international Dance Sport Federation (IDSF), is the international governing body of dancesport and Wheelchair Dance Sport, as recognized by the international Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The name was invented to help competitive dancing gain Olympic recognition and its first unofficial world championship took place in 1909, and the first formation team was presented in 1932 by Olive Ripman at the Astoria Ballroom, London.
Ballroom and Latin Dancing is currently only played in Windhoek and Sikwila said that they are looking at expanding the sport in other towns which she said includes schools in order to market the sport among learners.
Sikwila also said that there is a market for the sport despite it operating without any financial assistance, but said that the sport through WAD is working closely with the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) and the NSC in order for it to benefit from financial grants.
“People have shown that they are interested in the sport because it is all about having fun like dancing. We do have some few members and surely it will continue as time goes on. It is too early to say whether we have received responses from general public because we are still the development stage. We are currently sitting without a sponsorship but we are working closely with the NNOC and NSC for financial assistance,” said Sikwila.
Sikwala also added that WAD has already started engaging with the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU) about introducing the sport in schools after saying that there are already qualified instructors in place to carry out the duties and mandate of the sport.
“We are currently busy working with the NSSU, so that we have the sport in schools. We do have our own full time instructors but not professionals compare to other countries. We will also somehow hire some outsiders to assist.
Sikwala also said that the sport is not a one race sport and urged those interested to visit WAD office. “It is for everyone. There is nothing like a one race sport because anyone that is interested in the sport can get on hold of us,” said Sikwala.