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Sport and sponsors: cultivating the relationship

Mon, 2 November 2015 16:44
by Andreas Kathindi

With the amount of money which continues to be injected into the Sports Awards annually, it is a wonder that most sports disciplines continue to just as consistently beg, with their hands outstretched, for funding.

This year, while over a million was being handed out to the various sports’ achievers in the country at the recently-held Namibian Sports Awards by the Namibian Sports Commission, our Sports, Youth and National Service’s Deputy Minister Agnes Tjongarero said sports codes would have to have clear set-out plans for the future in order to even convince the government to pump money into something which continues to be lauded as a key component of Vision 2030, sport.

However, sitting and watching these sports heroes and heroines smile from ear to ear as they receive their awards and the promise of a N$50 000 prize or thereabouts, it is a wonder how their sports codes still suffer.

In fact, I even wonder why the government would need convincing.

The majority, if not all of the money handed out to winners at the awards’ show came from sponsors such as MTC, amongst others.

So, it is not that far removed from the realm of logic to think that if any solution is going to come, it will from these same sponsors, rather than just Government handing out money.

To a degree, some are already doing it. Some sports such as endurance horseriding and others have already tapped into this relationship, and enjoy reasonable amounts of cash injected into the sport yearly, while the +/- N$30 000 which they annually get from the NSC is merely an after-thought to them.

However, addressing a certain elephant in the room, not every sport code can afford these luxuries. They are left on their own.

I would say the corporate world has to an extent failed these sports, continually running to only show support when that support is being proclaimed on the biggest stage *Cough, Sport Awards, cough*, but it is not always black and white, as some sport codes such as netball have continually dropped the ball, and have given very little convincing arguments why sponsors should come out in droves to support them.

However, there are others who continue to work, unnoticed and perhaps unloved. But, their passion helps them plough on, determined.

The government should be able to find ways to tap into the corporate world on their own behalf, if their purse is closed at the moment.