What a year

09 December 2019 | Sports

As I write my last column for 2019, I would like to reflect on what I feel was good and bad this year in the sport fraternity.

It is incredible how things went south in Namibian football, given that the MTC Namibia Premier League never started after the end of the 2018/19 season.

The beautiful game has been plunged into controversy caused by the struggle of power between the Fifa normalisation committee and the NPL administration.

I witnessed court battles and fearsome exchanges of harsh words between these two parties.

This is something I wish will not repeat itself in 2020 because it has created a mess around the game we love so dearly.

I hope that administrators will fix their differences and the league will commence in 2020.

The fact that the league was inactive brought so much suffering to the players and vendors who make a living from football.

Most of these players and vendors support their families with the earnings they make from football.

One cannot say that it was a completely bad year for sport though, seeing that we had some beautiful moments in our sport history.

One of the biggest highlights of 2019 was Helalia Johannes's incredible form, which saw her winning bronze at the world athletics championships.

Johannes was in a class of her own this year as she smashed many records in long-distance events.

She has been my star of 2019 and I wish her all the best for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

I would not do justice to the goodness of sport this year if I do not mention the Sport Expo.

It was an important initiative which brought many sport fans together to showcase what they have to offer in the sport world.

My wish is for a bigger and better sport expo during 2020 because it carries so much importance in improving our sport.

Yes, Namibia did not win any match at the Africa Cup of Nations, but it was still a remarkable thing to see the country represented at Africa's biggest football showpiece.

It was one of those moments many Namibians will forever cherish because it had taken the country ten years to qualify for the showpiece.

The Brave Warriors have also done well because they qualified to the African Nations Championships (Chan) for the second time in a row.

Who can forget our senior national rugby team that participated at the rugby world cup this year? I bet nobody.

It was not such a great tournament for the Namibians but they did manage to ruffle a few feathers along the way.

It is important that we qualify for the next world cup and manage to win our first match in world cup history.

Johannes Nambala is also one of the few individuals who stood out for me this year.

Nambala was crowned world champion in the T13 400m race at the 2019 International Paralympic Committee World Para Athletics Championships. The athlete also won a bronze medal in the 100m events.

Namibia's national cricket team booked its place at the T20 2020 World Cup, after trouncing Oman in T20 World Cup playoffs.

This was a remarkable thing for Namibia sports given that the country has had to endure economic hardships throughout the year.

Namibia's senior women's netball team, the Desert Jewels, won the 2019 M1 Nations Cup in Singapore.

It was proud moments for a sport that has been underfunded for many years.

It was a year of mixed results and I hope that 2020 will provide us with better sport results and administration within the sport fraternity of this beautiful country.

I wish you all a great festive season and prosperous New Year.

[email protected]

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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