Newly-appointed acting chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Walter Haseb said there will be consequences for sports codes not complying with the national representation policy.
The policy, which will form part of the Sports Commission’s national sports plan, will require sports federations to have a transformation of sport programme to allow Namibians from all 14 regions represented in a particular sport.
“When you look at rugby, there has been an issue of racial discrimination just before every World Cup we have had in the last 10 years. It is a similar story with cricket. We do not want to see only one group of people representing Namibia when the teams play internationally,” stressed Haseb.
The policy will be backed through the sports’ categorisation framework, which the NSC will soon submit to the Directorate of Sport in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture.
Sports codes which fail to adhere to this, he said, will risk being categorised as recreational sport and potentially get little funding as part of the budgetary allocation because 50% of their categorization score card is development, under which integration falls.
Haseb noted that this policy could only happen through sports development and decentralization as major sports disciplines are currently town-based.
“When you look at the Namibian Premier League and the Rugby Premier League, most of the teams are based in Khomas and Erongo, with some in Zambezi. They are town-based, and this is often where national teams’ squads are formed from. That is not what we want. We want national representation of all 14 regions,” he stated.
“If you look at the San people, for example, who use bows and arrows from a young age as part of their way of life, it does not make sense that we do not have a single one represented in archery. It is the same with rowing and canoeing. People from the Zambezi region use canoes for a living, but are very rarely involved in the sport. In the Omaheke region, we have tall people with good physique who are not integrated into rugby”, he continued.
For sports federations which are well-off with regards to sponsorships and corporate funding and may not be sweating at the prospect of not getting funding from Government, Haseb said as taking part in international competitions is the aspiration of all federations, that could be taken away.