WINDHOEK, 10 MAY – Lack of proper organisation and communication overshadowed the start of the first-ever National Youth Games which commenced here Thursday.
Four regions – Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena and Kunene – struggled with transport to Windhoek, despite Namibia Sports Commission Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya saying two buses have been sent to all regions outside Khomas to bring athletes to Windhoek for the three-day event.
Mwiya told Nampa earlier this week, they were “120 per cent ready for the games”.
However, the situation on the ground was different on Wednesday afternoon as many athletes have not arrived yet and those who made it, were left stranded while others had to wait for hours at the accreditation centre.
Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, Kavango East Sports Officer Someno Erastus said there was not enough buses.
“It took long for the people in Windhoek (NSC) to approve our requisition for the government buses and when that happened, all buses were already given to those who booked earlier for the education ministry’s sports games also happening this week,” he said.
Some of his athletes managed to get to Windhoek after Kavango East Governor Samuel Mbambo used regional council money to pay for three 23-seater buses and a bakkie to transport athletes to the games.
Approached for comment, Mwiya said the commission told all sports officers in the regions to get requisitions from the Government Garage but lack of communication led to them not having transport.
By Wednesday evening the NSC was still trying to sort out the transport issue, but Mwiya said he was hopeful all regions will make it in time for the competition.
Meanwhile, Kunene athletes who arrived in the early hours of Wednesday, were left stranded at the National Youth Complex in Katutura and had very little food to eat.
Mwiya told this agency that lack of communication between the event organiser and the Kunene Sports Officer Esna //Haradoes resulted in only 19 of the 98 athletes from Kunene making it to Windhoek. They arrived by minibus and two bakkies as no bus was sent to their region.
Athletes will compete in football, netball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, judo, athletics, swimming and boxing.
The games will be used to select a national under-20 team that will represent the country at the Region Five Games in Gaborone, Botswana in December.