Sport can change lives: Veii

06 Mar 2014 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 06 MAR (NAMPA) - The acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture has urged the Namibian Sports Commission (NSC) and all sports umbrella bodies and clubs to involve vulnerable people too.
Dr Vetumbuavi Veii said sports can change people’s lives - regardless of their abilities and where they come from - when he launched the national sports’ conference set for April this year here on Wednesday.
“If someone is living with a disability, it does not mean we must write them off or turn a blind eye. These are the people that we need to think of during the conference,” he stressed.
Veii made an example of a boy whose name he would not mention, who lived under a bridge in Windhoek, and is now working in Swakopmund.
“This boy was a street kid, and we took him off the street to play soccer. Now he is off the street, renting his own room, with a job.
He has changed his life. It can be done, we do not have to write people off,” he noted.
He thus suggested that his ministry and the NSC should come up with ideas to find ways to help vulnerable people in Namibia.
Veii also suggested that they make it a law that when a person signs a sports contract, a certain percentage of their salary should go towards savings so that they could make use of this money when they retired from sports.
“You find someone who was a hero yesterday, but the next day he or she is a nobody, who is even eating from rubbish bins.
We have to think about it, and bring it into our Sports Act. This is the reality on the ground, and we cannot turn a blind eye on that one,” he stressed.
Veii, however, stated that ever since independence in 1990, things have changed in the Namibian sports fraternity.
“Yes, there were some sports codes with white or blacks only, but 20 years down the road, things have changed. You had white boxers in Namibia, but again they are nowhere to be found. So, we also have to look at this when we talk about transformation,” he added.
The acting PS also stressed that they will find ways and means of how to put pressure on international companies which operate in Namibia to also start contributing to the development of sports.
The three-day national sports conference will be held in the capital next month to assess the state of sports in the country over the past 24 years.
It will take place from 23 to 27 April under the theme ‘Creating a Winning Sporting Namibia’, and is set to identify opportunities for growth, while also developing strategies which will increase and enhance participation at all levels of sports.
According to the organisers, close to 400 participants are expected to attend.