All is not lost for Namibian sport
It is funny how optimism about Namibia’s sporting potential evaporated following the Brave Warriors’ elimination from the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
All of a sudden people are talking of a crisis while others are concerned about where sport in the country is heading.
These are not new concerns as passionate sports fans have been wondering that for years.
But let’s be honest, Namibia has been punching way above her weight because most of our athletes have come through only by a combination of pure talent and their perseverance.
Most of our rugby team, as an example, is made up of guys who have to juggle a 9-to-5 job with training in the afternoon and yet people expect these players to compete successfully against opponents who make a living from playing the game.
The same can be said of most other sport codes, as athletes elsewhere in the world are groomed from the age of about five or six while here most only receive proper development at 16 years.
Now therein lays the crux of the matter.
Namibia will never achieve consistently great results if the grassroots problems are not tackled.
The talent in this country is considerable and with sufficient investment it can surpass even the biggest sceptics’ expectations.
But investment does not only mean pouring money into paying the top players. Rather, it should include the development of administrators, referees, coaches as well as the building of sport infrastructure that will help the athletes to achieve success.
That’s why I still believe there is a lot of hope for local sport, especially if the powers that be start targeting schools.
Kids are the most passionate people I know and are very eager to play.
Therefore, if they are recruited at an early age they can go through proper development which will ensure they compete against the best in the world.
It will take careful guidance, years of dedication and patience for these athletes to be able to do so.
In the same vein fans should not expect the Brave Warriors to become a powerhouse overnight.
Let’s give them the room to continue their growth and hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy their success soon.