Big ups to NSC and NSFAF

24 February 2020 | Sports

I must congratulate the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) for signing a memorandum of understating.

It is a milestone between the two stakeholders given that it will enable athletes, officials and employees in the sport industry to be assisted with study loans over the next three years.

Sport has often been left behind because it is a sector government does not consider as a priority.

I believe the deal shows that we are actually moving to a point were government is acknowledging that sport can indeed create employment and contribute towards economic growth if those in the industry receive the necessary training and education.

The fact that people in the sport industry will be able to access loans to study in various sport fields will improve sport at all levels.

I have so often written about the importance of athletes pursing education while playing sport.

The number of people in the fraternity who lack the necessary qualifications in administration roles has been on the increase.

It is for this reason that some of the chaos experienced in the industry is often not resolved.

People take up positions without any education background in sports management.

It has been no secret that many footballers and athletes often end up without education and a decent life after retiring from their careers.

I have witnessed sport personalities being left homeless even after earning big money during their careers.

This has been contributed to by the fact that many of the athletes do not pursue an education while plying their trade.

It is very important that our athletes concentrate on education while pursuing a sport career.

The fact that Namibia has no professional sport set-up makes it difficult for sport personalities to make the money people abroad make.

The unfortunate truth is that our country is far from establishing professional sports and continues to drift further away from that.

Schools have a big role to play in encouraging young aspiring athletes to do well academically before they can join the school teams.

Some schools have a rule that learners may only take part in school sports if their marks are satisfactory.

It is a system that can push those who are passionate about sports to do better in their studies in order to land a place on school teams.

Parents also have a role to play in helping their children succeed in both academics and sport. Always make sure that your son or daughter makes education their first priority and sport second.

People must realise that you cannot play competitive sport forever and a time will come when you will need to do something else.

The sporting industry also goes beyond just participating – there is a need for coaches, legal sport professionals and learned administrators.

I believe that sport in this country can only improve if people in the sector have academic qualifications in their field of work.

It is important that we as a country invest in the future leaders of tomorrow and we can start by having more qualified sport administrators in positions.

That is why I encourage all sport personnel to make use of the opportunity provided by NSFAF and NSC.

As things stand, there are only a few days to go before applications close and that is why those who do not succeed to get a loan in time this year should consider applying again next year.

I further urge the NSC and all sport federations to practice fairness when undergoing the selection process.

The most important thing is that people are not selected based on favouritism but rather their work ethic in the sport industry and qualifications must be key.

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