Everyone knows the financial difficulty a lot of sporting institutions in Namibia go through.
It is not only a problem for the fringe sports like gymnastics and horse-riding, but plenty of football clubs face that problem regularly.
For most, approaching this problem is usually met with either complaining that government does not do enough, or simply asking for handouts.
In light of this, let me congratulate Julinho Sporting for setting an example which I believe not only many other clubs should follow, but all sporting institutions.
Through sheer perseverance on social media platforms, the club managed to get themselves voted into this year’s edition of the Hage Geingob Cup, which took place on 23 and 25 July.
Although they are not the most-popular or most-recognisable club in the Premier League in Namibia, their social media presence is undeniable.
Within the period of 11 June and 13 July, when votes went up for the public to decide who the fourth club to join Mamelodi Sundowns, African Stars and Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto would be, I don’t think a day went by when I did not see a Facebook post with Julinho Sporting urging their fans to vote for them, and get them into the tournament.
Black Africa, Tigers and Tura Magic, who ended fifth, third and second, respectively in the voting process are easily more popular.
However, Julinho still managed to surprise everyone…or perhaps not so much surprise, as their hard work was clearly evident.
Out of 57 636 votes cast, they got 30 664, which is 53% of the votes for all 16 Premier League clubs. To put it in context, Tura Magic, who got the second-highest votes, garnered 14 231, less than half.
I think there is something very commendable about Julinho here.
Yes, sport faces financial troubles in Namibia, but for a club which finished 13th in last season’s Premier League campaign, just a point shy of relegation, what they achieved is admirable.
Like in business—and football, after all, is a business—there are endless opportunities out there if they are just explored.
No company will be willing to sponsor a sporting institution which just sits around and waits for handouts.
But if they seek creative ways to generate not only funds but a buzz about their events and so forth, they might just attract the sponsors they need.
After all, Julinho have now not only enjoyed participating at the same tournament as South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, but they will share in the participation fees as well.
So please, let’s see more sports codes following this idea and seeking out creative ways to increase their presence in the country. Social media is one, but not the only one.