Women in sport operating on zero budget

Ivonne Kooper in action for the Brave Gladiators against Equatorial Guinea. File photo

Namibia Women in Sport Association (Nawisa) president Carol Garoes says the association operates on a non-existing financial budget every year.

Garoes, in a recent interview with Desert Radio, said the association is requested to submit its annual budget each year, but always ends up empty-handed.

“This always affects our programmes in the implementation drive, because funds are never there to start with,” she said.

She said each region requires an amount of about N$1 million.

“That is the budget needed to have programmes up and running in the regions, and to embark on programme implementation.”

She said: “We need the participation of regional governors who have departments or divisions dealing with sport, and their help would certainly help effect the necessary changes.”

Garoes said all 14 political regions are member affiliates of the association, but have to date failed to honour their Nawisa membership fees.

“The only financial assistance we get is from the Namibia Sports Commission, which assists in the administration of the association a lot, as we have a zero annual balance to administer the operation,” she said.

Despite the financial challenges the association is faced with on an annual basis, it has managed to establish regional structures.

“Somehow, we manage to keep going and keep looking at how we can improve our situation financially, because that is the thing that really pulls us back,” Garoes said.

“One of our core objectives is to have structures we could rent out and have income every month for regional operation, but sadly that has not happened.”

Garoes said Nawisa needs support to buy houses from the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to rent out, but has not received such, despite the NHE providing the association with discounts.

“Projects cannot be implemented, because we have 14 regional affiliates to take care of at developmental level, ensuring that gender equality is observed at different levels.”

Garoes said the regional structures have somehow managed to assist with the establishment of clubs for women and young girls who are still at the developmental stage.

She said Namibia has seen an increase in the number of women and young girls competing nationally and internationally, which is remarkable.

“We have engaged parents who refuse that their daughters participate in sport by discussing the benefits of sport for girls with them. This has resulted in the mass participation of young girls in the various sport codes,” Garoes said.

She said Nawisa does not receive any benefit from international organs such as the Africa Women in Sport Association, the International Working Group in Women in Sport, or the African Union.

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