Veii calls on African nations to focus on school sports

14 May 2016 16:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 14 MAY (NAMPA) – The chairperson of the Namibia Sports Commission and African Union Sports Council’s region five, Vetumbuavi Veii says he is disappointed to see how African nations neglects sports at grassroots level.
The region five countries are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Tanzania and Mauritius.
Veii said this during the opening ceremony of the 17th Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) Athletics Championships underway in Swakopmund.
He noted that sports administrators in Africa should get their priorities straight if they want sport to grow in the continent.
“I am disappointed to see that we only have five countries from region five represented at the 2016 Cossasa athletics championships. I was in Harare for a workshop last month where some officials from another country that I will not mention told me they will send a delegation of seven officials to Brazil for the Olympics despite them not even having a single athlete that has qualified for the competition,” Veii said.
He added that the same country did not send athletes to the Cossasa games because of financial constraints.
“Just imagine how much money they are spending on travelling to Brazil to watch the Olympics,” he said.
He added that for the continent to start performing well at international level, sports administrators should start investing more in young athletes as they will eventually reap the fruit of their investment.
“Sport is overlooked in Africa and always plays second fiddle when government budgets are released. People focus more on education and health without knowing that sports plays a major role in all those sectors.
“I call on all of you young athletes that are at these games to keep on working hard and building relations with your fellow athletes, while working hard to realise your dreams of representing your countries at the highest level,” said Veii.
He also called on all region five countries to start sending teams to the Cossasa games because this is the only platform that can be used by athletes to build relationships, while at the same time showcasing the best athletes in the region.
The competition commenced at the Swakopmund Sport Stadium on Thursday and ends on Saturday.