KEETMANSHOOP: The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) launched the first-ever national sports’ talent identification programme at the Keetmanshoop Stadium in the Karas Region on Saturday.
It is aimed at giving young people in the age groups of 10 to 15 from all 13 regions a chance to showcase their talents, and be absorbed into national sports teams.
Five towns from Karas, being Oranjemund, Karasburg, Rosh Pinah, Luderitz and Keetmanshoop, are participating against each other in soccer, rugby, netball and volleyball.
After the games, a regional team comprising different teams from different sports codes will be selected, which teams will continue to play against other teams from the rest of the regions.
This will give the sports officials, team owners and national team coaches a chance to choose the best players to play at national and international levels.
Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi officiated at the event, where he encouraged children to grab this opportunity and to do their very best to be recognized and later become international champions.
The governor said sport is another way of marketing countries because if one person wins, the news will be broadcast across the globe, and that means the country’s name will be known.
Furthermore, sport can also be another career for people who cannot make it in school. Thus, children should take it seriously.
“Those who will be selected here today will get a chance to play against South African teams next year as part of the Karas and Northern Cape twinning agreement,” Swartbooi told the children.
Also speaking at the official opening was Sports Commissioner Amos Shiyuka, who noted that the idea to identify and develop young talent has been long overdue.
He thus urged residents not to criticize the programme as it is still a pilot study, but to give their inputs to help it succeed.
“Eighty per cent of players in the national teams are from the Khomas region. That does not mean other regions do not have talent. So, we want to give a chance to everyone to show what they can do and be selected for national teams,” Shiyuka stressed.
The programme will continue to the Hardap region next year, and thereafter be rolled-out to the rest of the regions.