Better funding for sportsmen and women is vital: SASCOC

26 Apr 2014 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) – The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)’s General Manager of High Performance, Ezera Tshabangu says there is a need to improve funding for sportsmen and women in Namibia.
Tshabangu was speaking here on Friday during the second day of the national sports conference, saying that in high performance in sport, there is a need for better prioritisation of which sports are funded at the highest level.
“There are needs for better development of talented sportsmen and women to help them reach that high performance level,” she said, adding that there is a pressing need to increase the availability of sports facilities in the country.
“We have to invest in people; more coaches, more organisers and leaders who can engage, encourage and inspire people to gain the skills and confidence to take part,” she stressed.
Tshabangu noted that improvements in performance are needed in the way funds are allocated between different sports.
“Support for individual elite athletes needs to be efficient and customer focused,” she said, adding that a high performance programme and centre that will make a difference for many elite competitors is needed.
She further stressed that preparation for a sport event and international performance is vital.
“International sporting success helps generate pride and a sense of national identity, and indeed a feel good factor,” she noted.
She added that international performance also boosts the profile of a sport and increases interest in participation.
“If we are to build on a strong performance in international sport created by athletes such as Frankie Fredericks, we must be more systematic in spotting and developing talented competitors,” Tshabangu stressed.
She thus urged governing bodies and national federations to lead the work against a talent development plan which will avoid the damaging effects of over-specialising and over-competing at any early stage, but to recognise the differing requirements of individual sports when it is appropriate to do so.
“Talent development plans should, where appropriate, reach deep down to the grassroots of sports,” said Tshabangu.
The national sports conference started on Thursday, and ends on Saturday.