10 Jul 2014 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 10 JUL (NAMPA) - Prime Minister (PM) Hage Geingob has appealed to the Government and parastatals to avail funds to the senior national rugby team as they prepare for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The PM said this during a courtesy call by the Welwitschias at his office on Wednesday.
Namibia ended top of its group with the most points at the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) tournament on Sunday to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which takes place in England from 18 September to 31 October next year.
The 89-10 win over Madagascar earned them the most points.
The Premier repeated his earlier call which he wrote in a letter read to the players upon their arrival at the Hosea Kutako International airport from Madagascar on Tuesday, congratulating the team for qualifying to the world showpiece.
He said that the time is right for the Welwitschias to progress from being mere participants to making history after they successfully qualified for their fifth consecutive Rugby World Cup.
We must at least win one game, even though we are in a tough group with New Zealand and Argentina. We have now matured after attending four World Cups.
I was at least at three of them, watching the team, so this time around we need to prepare very well and compete, not just be participants, said Geingob.
He added that the time is now right for Government and parastatals to come on board and help the team.
We need to approach who we can approach now to help us, because sometimes we only approach one company like Namibian Breweries Limited or Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), and they support a lot of sporting codes. Now, we need to approach other parastatals to also start helping, he added.
The Premier indicated that everything needs to be in place for the team to win.
I am not going to say what former president Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia used to say when sending a soccer team off for matches. He always said 'you should go play well, lose or win with dignity', but there is no dignity when you are losing, Geingob stated.
He also promised that his office will do their best to assist, but urged others to also come on board to help the team.
Namibia has participated in the Rugby World Cup on four occasions - in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.
The team has, however, failed to win a single game during those competitions.