WINDHOEK, 10 MAY – Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni has called on the youth to take sports seriously and start making a living off it.
Uutoni said this during the opening ceremony of the maiden edition of the National Youth Games here Thursday.
The minister said in this world where white collar jobs have become scarce and manual jobs are constantly being replaced by technology, sports can provide the youth with a way of fending for themselves.
“As we are currently faced with a high rate of youth unemployment in Namibia, I believe that sports development might be one of the remedies that not only will create employment opportunities for the participants but also create off the field opportunities such as coaches, team managers, tacticians, fitness experts, dietary advisors and a whole lot of other experts who benefit from the youth’s involvement in sports,” he said.
He added that there are countless statistics linking youth involvement in sports to both their emotional and physical health, but there “is always so much going on and one can easily lose sight of the big picture”.
“I personally appreciate the significant contribution sport is making in the lives of many of our young people and the important role all coaches play not just to sport, but to our communities and individuals’ lives as well.”
Uutoni said sports amongst the youth is a key factor that has been noted to promote pro-social characteristics and traits among individuals.
“Through this interaction, one’s communication skills are also enhanced, and these are acquisitions that will benefit the individual later in life, especially the anti-social ones can improve their social skills through interaction with their teammates as well as the opposing players.”
The three-day event ends Saturday.
Athletes compete in football, netball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, judo, athletics, swimming and boxing.
The ones who excel will be selected for the national under-20 team that will represent Namibia at the Region Five Games in Gaborone, Botswana in December.