The Deputy Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service Agnes Tjongarero, this week told The Villager that she is still waiting on the Namibian Sports Commission to finalise its amendments on the sports act.
The act which is expected to address amendments regarding racial balance in Namibian ports, professionalisation of sports, funding of excelling sports as well as reversing bans on gender sports participation such as boxing is still with the Sports Commission. According to Tjongarero, the act was availed to the commission last year, and it has not been returned despite the ministry’s probe.
“The sports commission has not returned it to me. They were supposed to involve their members and their federations because they are supposed to consult”, she said. She added that although the ministry had not given the commission a deadline before, her ministry has increased pressure on the conclusion to be made by the commission, “At first we had not given them a deadline but we have been waiting too long so we are not putting pressure on them only now”.
The Ministry expressed shock on the performance of athletes who were send to Jamaica 4 years ago, in preparation for the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympic.
“They have been there for 4 years, they should have easily qualified. But we need to give them time. We cannot say we are optimistic and then in the end we end up disappointed”, she told The Villager sport. Although chances look slim for the Namibian swimmers and athletes in Jamaica to meet the deadline for qualification in June, the Ministry says it will monitor the performance with hopes of luck. Unlike it’s South African counterparts, Namibia has so far only secured 3 participants for the Olympics in August. Namibia has fallen at the bottom of the pit amongst its neighbouring countries, with Zambia with regards to the number of participants at this moment, with the lowest number of participants in the SADC region, as compared to other competing Southern Africans.
Zambia is also sending 2 participants in one sport for the games in August. Zambia has only secured Jordan Chipangama for the men’s marathon and Kabange Mupopo for the women’s 400m. South Africa has secured 95 participants in 10 sports, these including competitions in canoeing, cycling on the road and mountain biking, dressage and football tournaments for both men and women. Zimbabwe is sending 26 competitors in 6 sports.
These include participation in athletics, football tournament for the women, rowing as well as shooting. Five participants will be representing Botswana, in one sport for the men’s track and roads events. Angola has also secured the participation of 18 competitors in 3 sports, these including handball, rowing as well as sailing.
Also struggling to secure itself with high numbers of participants is Tanzania, who is also only sending 3 athletes in one sports this far. Mohamed Ikoki Msandeki, Saidi Makula and Alphonce Felix Simbu will be competing in the men’s marathon for Tanzanaia. One like Tanzania is, Lesotho who has also only secured 3 athletes in one sports for the men’s 200m and men’s marathon for the games.