MTC gets behind volleyball

Photo: Contributed BOMBS AWAY … MTC announced a handsome sponsorship deal for the Namibia Volleyball Federation yesterday.

Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) urged the Namibia Volleyball Federation (NVF) to embrace accountable governance yesterday during the announcement of a N$3 million sponsorship for the sport body.

The sponsorship came about after the federation invited MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo to witness volleyball league action last year, in a bid to land substantial support.

Ekandjo said the passion and dedication displayed by players, officials and fans during the games swayed his mind. “I asked about the prize money of the winning teams and I was told the winner gets a mere N$2 000 or N$3 000.

That is what solved the problem and not the bunch of letters written to us,” said Ekandjo.

“I am impressed with the passion I saw there and we have committed an operational sponsorship budget of N$3 million, of which we give N$1 million per annum,” Ekandjo said. “Make sure expectations are met and don’t compromise when it comes to good governance. Get your house in order and render fair treatment to all teams participating,” he cautioned.

“We do not want to fail, but we like to aim for the stars. [When there is] Mismanagement of funds we will terminate the contract within a matter of seconds.”

Ekandjo is convinced that what he witnessed at the games is an indication of what the NVF wants to achieve.

The three-year agreement will see a men and women’s MTC National Volleyball League with eight teams each. The league is expected to get underway in April, along with regional leagues, while the NVF Cup is billed for October. “MTC is privileged to be partnering with NVF and not the other way round. The NVF will carry on with their own branding and aspiration and we want to see that happening.” NVF president Hillary Imbuwa said being embraced by an entity like MTC marks a watershed moment for volleyball in the country.

He said the NVF was committed to making the partnership with MTC a success in order to elevate the standard of Namibian volleyball.

MTC previously sponsored the beach volleyball league in 1999 and 2000. “We have struggled over the years financially to grow the sport, but I promise to use the funds transparently and for the intended purpose,” Imbuwa said.

Speaking on the sidelines, NVF technical director Joseph Amakali said MTC’s financial injection would make for improved participation nationwide. Of the 14 regions, only Omaheke and Kunene have no active regional leagues, he said. Lack of funds and long travelling distances have meant that volleyball clubs struggle to honour league matches and other NVF activities.

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