Political leaders should rally behind sport: Mwiya

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Windhoek – If all regional leaders start supporting sports, Namibia will produce the best talent, Namibia Sports Commission Chief Administrator, Freddy Mwiya has said.

Mwiya said this in an interview with Nampa on Sunday after the completion of the first-ever National Youth Games held here from Thursday to Saturday.

Over 1 800 athletes participated in football, athletics, basketball, boxing, judo, netball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. 

Mwiya said the argument of a difference in resources between rural and urban areas does not “hold water” as talent is all over the country.

“I am so happy to see that Kavango East finished third on the medal standing and if this region had infrastructure like Khomas, then we will be talking a different story because they would have won most categories at these championships,” he said.

The chief administrator added that credit should be given to Samuel Mbambo, the governor of Kavango East, who provided transport for his athletes to come for the games.

“What is also really important is while the championships were still ongoing, he was at most of the sport fields where his athletes competed, which is a really good thing to see from a political leader,” said Mwiya.

He stated that the sports ministry has a limited budget and if regional political leaders start putting sports as a priority, like Kavango East, then sports will grow in the country.

“This was our first project but in four years we are hoping it would have grown to another level. This can only happen if we have the support of the regional councils, who should start building sports infrastructure in their regions with their capital project money.”

Mwiya said the commission has a limited budget which roughly caters for salaries alone and they cannot force more money from the ministry of sports.

“In the last two years the sports ministry’s budget has been cut and they now have a limited budget that is why it’s important for all the regions to start sourcing for support from the corporate world in their regions to build sports infrastructure.”

Khomas won the maiden edition of the National Youth Games after raking in 66 medals of which 36 were gold; 18 silver and 12 bronze, while Erongo finished the championships in second position with 27 medals (10 gold, nine silver and eight bronze) and Kavango East locked out the top three positions with 22 medals (nine gold, seven silver and six bronze).

Omusati were fourth overall with 12 medals (five gold), while Otjozondjupa finished the championships in fifth position with 13 medals (four gold).

Omahake finished bottom of the medal standing after they failed to win a single medal at the championships. – Nampa

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