Policy research can help develop sport: Namupala

04 Mar 2018 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 04 MAR (NAMPA) – Policies should be put in place to encourage Namibians to participate in sport, sociology lecturer Ndeshi Namupala said on Friday.
The University of Namibia lecturer was responding to a question on how the youth can use sport to better their lives, especially those who are not academically well off, at the Namibia National Commission for Unesco (Natcom) annual general assembly.
Namupala said while there are policies in place meant to cater for sport, it is not a priority when it comes to funding.
“Sport has health and mental benefits. The achievement of any sporting personality helps create role models like Johanna Benson and the Brave Warriors. They have taken sport and made it their employment,” she said.
She questioned how some of these policies were formulated as they do not seem to be working for the development of sport.
“We have school sport but it ends in the first term. In other countries sport is introduced and potential athletes are identified and put on sport scholarships so as to harness and nurture talent,” she said, adding that such programmes should not cater for schools only, but for school leavers as well.
Namupala further said research plays a big role in formulating these policies as it will help maximise their effectiveness, adding that sport is a form of education, hence the need to use its power and educate Namibians.
“We have our champion boxer Paulus Moses who does not express himself well in English. We can use him to inspire the youth to excel in sports. He has proven that you can excel without being formally educated.”
Her views were echoed by Professor Marion Keim, who is the director of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sport Science and Development at the University of Western Cape, who said that was the case with South Africa.
Keim referred to Caster Semenya as someone who initially struggled to express herself in English, but is now studying for a sports management degree at one of the top universities in that country.
The panel discussion took place under the theme ‘Sport as a vehicle for social transformation and development’.