Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi with Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni (middle) and officials from Namibia Sports Commission
|Story by George Sanzila
Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi has pledged to support the upcoming Namibia Annual Sports Expo (NASE). The expo, a first of its kind in Namibia, is intended to re organize the sport fraternity in the country by making it more professional and therefore serve as a source of livelihood for the many athletes that remain underprivileged, even when they have excelled in their various disciplines. It is organized by Namibia Sports Commission and will take place from 04 to 07 September this year. The expo that would entirely depend on the benevolence of benefactors, would be preceded by a fundraising event that will take place on the 14th of March.
Katjavivi pledged his support when the Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni in the company of Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) officials, including its chief administrator, Freddy Mwiya visited the Speaker’s office to canvass for support.
The Speaker, a former athlete himself commended the initiative and underscored the importance of Sports, noting that Parliament was in full support of the initiative. “We are in full support and will make sure that MPs are mobilized so that they attend in big numbers”, said Katjavivi.
Katjavivi further suggested that there was a need to have a sports museum that would showcase the legacy of various sports personalities, both alive and posthumously. “Our young people need to be reminded about some of the talented people that are alive and those that have passed on. It is very important for them to be inspired and to promote sports development in the country”, implored the Speaker.
Uutoni reiterated the importance of the expo noting that it would further empower the youth. “We have many young people that are sitting idle. This initiative is intended to empower young people. It will brand our country and create jobs for thousands of our young people”, said Uutoni.
Mwiya, a seasoned Karateka who now runs the Sports Commission, echoed similar sentiments noting that sport has helped to brand countries such as Jamaica and normally attracts investment. He further revealed that as part of efforts to attract the youth at the envisaged four-day event, the NSC was in consultation with their Jamaican counterparts to bring in that country’s retired sprinter and Olympic world record holder, Usain Bolt as a guest of honour.
The expo will include a conference and an exhibition.