Speaking to The Patriot yesterday, Tjongarero said she acknowledges that there is a problem caused by the lack of funding but people must start thinking outside the box.
“I acknowledge that funding is an issue at the moment but there are other things that we can do without money. Introducing programs in schools does not need money. Why do schools not approach the sports commission and ask for help, for example coaches if they don’t have. So I do not understand why they do not want to use these platforms. We need to think outside the box because there are shorter ways of solving some of these issues,” said the deputy minister.
Opening up on opportunities that have not yet been explored, Tjongarero says she await to see federations getting assistance from their international bodies. “Every federation is affiliated to an international body, so why don’t we partly take that route in getting help?”
While the challenge of funding in the sport fraternity continues to be a headache, Tjongarero admits that it is also their duty to start producing coaches that they will send into the remote areas to train and scout talent. A recent announcement by the Namibia Sport Commission early this week curtailed the deputy minister’s proposal. Following the current financial hoes, the commission has informed all sport federations to no longer seek assistance from its office as it faces financial constraints due to the national budget cuts.
In a letter addressed to all 54 sport codes in the country, the NSC stated that no annual grants, financial support and transport assistance will be rendered to sport federations and umbrella bodies for the rest of the current financial year, which ends on 31 March 2017.
“As you know, given the recent history of budget cuts, there is virtually no excess in our budget. At the same time, we must confront the need to make reductions in our current financial plan, cutbacks that are not as large as we had earlier predicted, but difficult nonetheless,” reads the letter in Nampa’s possession.
Acting Chief Administrator at the NSC, Peter Wilson said they are hopeful everything will stabilise when the new budget is released.
“We are lucky that we have some codes that are not really dependent on the NSC and I know things will be better when we get our new budget. It’s now time for the corporate world to start meeting government halfway,” he said.
Wilson added that in its 2017/18 budget, the NSC will cater for all sport codes, including those that were not catered for in the past.
“We know we are going to get less money which will lead to codes getting reduced annual grants, but we will give all the 54 codes assistance when they represent the country,” he stated.
The 54 sports codes in the country are divided into three categories which are main codes, developmental sport and family sport.
The main codes are football, rugby, boxing, netball, volleyball, athletics, boxing and cricket, which get the biggest chunk of the sports budget.
Codes are allocated a certain amount of money per year and the money is then paid to them on a quarterly basis.
-Additional reporting from Nampa