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Marathon coach Hiskia wants more funds

by John Tuerijama


Namibia’s marathon queen, Beata Naigambo’s coach, Tobias Hiskia says the N$100 000 cash assistance received from the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is not enough to cater for the entire preparation programme of his athlete for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games to kickoff this July.
In an interview with The Villager Sports, Hiskia said the N$100 000 will only cater for Naigambo’s participation in local competitions and a few races outside the country icluding the purchase of supplements for the athlete.
“They need to take part in short road races to improve on their speed. So far, there are a few races that are not enough,” said the coach.
He added that compared to athletes from fellow Sadc countries, Namibian athletes get far less than their counterparts, adding that the gap is quite huge and not comparable despite the fact that the athletes are preparing for the same competition.
Hiskia, is also uncertain whether funds will permit  Naigambo to take part in a 21km road race in Germany in May, while plans are underway for a two or three-weeks’ training camp most likely to take place in Scotland.
The long-distance mentor welcomes any sponsorship from the corporate world to send Naigambo to Kenya for her final preparation before coming home to depart for London, United Kingdom (UK).
Team Namibia’s Chef de Mission, Ndeulipulwa Hamutumwa said discussions are underway between the NNOC and Government on the final budget for Team Namibia.
He said the Director of Sport, Vetumbuavi Veii is in a position to disclose the figure for Team Namibia’s participation since Government is responsible for travelling expenses, accommodation, food and many other stuff related for the sporting event.
“On our side, we the NNOC has N$400 000 available for the five athletes including sprinter, Tjipekapora Herunga who has recently qualified to prepare them for the world showpiece. We expect to inject more funds but that solely depends on the number of athletes who will qualify from now on,” added Hamutumwa.
Veii could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC)’s acting Chief Administrator, Walter Haseb said the Commission does not deal with the budget for major events such as the Olympic Games as it is done by the line ministry.
“We only deal with the allocation of the annual grants to the sport code affiliates,” said Haseb.
Just in comparison with Namibia’s neighbor, the South African Sports Confederation and its national Olympic Committee have joined forces financially after having spend N$33m for their top athletes preparations for the Games, and with another N$24m expected to be injected before the July  Games.
In the 2008 edition, South Africa spend N$90m of which the country only managed to clinch one medal, and yet that did not stop the Government to reinforce and mobilize for enough funds for this year’s edition.