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Rugby interim committee chairman calls for stakeholdersÔÇÖ conference

by John Tuerijama


The Rugby Interim Committee Chairman, Dannie Strauss says it is imperative for the new executive to be elected next month to schedule a stakeholders’ conference as a matter of urgency to reignite confidence into rugby partners.
Strauss disclosed to The Villager Sports that there are four important partners the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) cannot operate without as it lacks the needed funds to operate in isolation.
The chairman added that the executive needs to present its blue print or a five-year plan to the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC), Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) and the International Rugby Board (IRB) representatives.
“The conference must pave the way forward to ensure that the much-needed funds are obtained. The new executive should prove by all means that they are a credible partner as it is crucial for the stakeholders to salvage rugby,” said Strauss.
Strauss, a business consultant by profession, added that the position of CEO should be advertised as early as possible but hinted that first and foremost, a consultant is needed to put policies and operational structures in place from which the new CEO would operate.
“We need to have the office up and running by the end of May, with a fully-fledge operational workforce and its CEO,” he stressed.
On the non-participation of the Welwitschias in the 2012 edition of the Vodacom Cup, Strauss said the South African (SARU) President, Jurie Roux is disappointed with the fact that Namibia opted out of the competition but agreed that it is not viable for the union to participate without the necessary funding.
Strauss said the priority is to ensure the smooth kickoff of the domestic rugby elite league by mid-May while the regional leagues will also be a bone of contention for the new executive.
“We have received invitations from the South African universities for possible friendly matches but due to the circumstances and since we are funding ourselves, it would be bitterly unrealistic to engage in any matches at this stage,” said the interim committee chairman.
Strauss said he had communicated to CAR President Abdelaziz Bougja late last week on the status of rugby in the country to which Bougja expressed his sympathy but urged the local interim committee chairman to strive on and get rugby at its rightful place by having all structures in place as required.
NRU’s CEO, Christo Alexander bade farewell after successfully applying and being accepted for a teaching post at the Dr Lemmer High School in Rehoboth.
Alexander said that he and the interim committee have agreed on the payout settlement after having been informed that the entire personnel would be retrenched.
 The retrenched CEO said the priority for the new executive is to ensure that all structures are in place including the administration and finance, coaching department and development department to successfully and professionally run the day-to-day rugby affairs.
The NRU’s office will be closed for business for the whole of next month with the interim committee only opening up in the afternoon to check incoming e-mails and any other communications.