Athletics club in Gobabis facing financial obstacles

31 May 2016 13:10pm
GOBABIS, 31 MAY (NAMPA) – The recently established Cattle Country Athletics Club in the Omaheke Region is fighting for survival after they were told to start paying for the use of the Legare Stadium.
The club, the first of its kind in the region, has been informed by the Gobabis Municipality asking them to pay a fee of N.dollars 400 per day to use the stadium for practice sessions.
In a letter dated 28 April 2016, the municipality said increased maintenance costs have necessitated the request for payment.
“We are writing this letter to inform you that that the Gobabis Municipal Council can no longer assist with free practice sessions at the Legare Sports Complex... Your proposed four practice sessions per week will translate into N.dollars 1 600 per week,” the letter issued by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Gobabis Municipality, Ephraim Dawids reads.
Club founder Vetise Mbunguha told Nampa they cannot afford to pay the fee as they do not have any financial means or sponsor to pay the fee.
“We do not even have anything, we are struggling to get shoes, training equipment and basic necessities to advance sport in the region and now we must pay N.dollars 400 per day. Where will we get that money from?” he asked.
The club was established last month. They currently have no sponsor or any form of assistance when traveling for regional championships apart from help with accommodation and transport costs by Athletics Namibia.
It has since proven to hit the ground running after it claimed numerous accolades at the recent Coca Cola Athletic Championships which were held in Swakopmund and Oshakati.
Mbunguha said the club was initiated to keep young people busy with something positive and help them avoid things such as substance abuse and teenage pregnancies by keeping them focused on sports.
The club has also a gold, silver and several bronze medals at the recent Bank Windhoek Namibia National Championships held on 28 May in Windhoek.
“If there is anyone who can assist us in this matter, we would appreciate it. Otherwise we will keep our fingers crossed and see what happens,” he said.
Contacted for comment on Monday, Dawids said he appreciates the introduction of the club, but they have to charge the use of the stadium to help maintain it.
“It is really difficult to avail the stadium for free. We cannot really accommodate that but I think the application can be revisited and perhaps be a special consideration, but they will still have to make a contribution so that we can meet each other halfway,” he said.