After the announcement of the new junior tournaments and cricket expanding out of Windhoek; Cricket Namibia has further released details regarding how the sport is being made available to all.
Cricket Namibia CEO Johan Muller, while talking to NBC on the Networks Sport vs COVID-19 show, began to shed light on the country’s transformation programme. Muller explained that the vision of the association is to have a positive impact on the lives of families and to expand the number of different ways that an individual can access the sport. In order to turn the vision of the association into reality, Muller accepted that there are a number of different challenges that are required to be overcome.
Muller highlighted that there is a requirement to further promote cricket beyond Windhoek, the nation’s capital. Despite the success of Cricket Namibia’s first roadshow, which visited Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Outjo, Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth, Swakopmund, and Walvis Bay, Muller reflected that there were a number of people in some of the smaller towns that were not aware of cricket. Without being aware of the sport, the country’s participation level will not reach its full potential and therefore limits the success of any set targets. However, there are clear steps being put in place to tackle this issue, with coaching courses being organised in Outjo with the likelihood more being organised throughout the country. Further to this, there is the belief that if there is the ability to educate the youth and their parents or caregivers about cricket then there will be a higher likelihood of retaining children in a youth cricket system. This is due to the understanding that if parents or caregivers understand the value of cricket and what the sport actually is then they are more likely to motivate the children to return to the sport after their initial introduction.
Muller stated that the key to the future of Namibian Cricket is “knowledge”.
The transformation target discussion was added to by the Vice-president of Cricket Namibia, Polly Negongo. Negongo stated that the sport has sometimes struggled in the country due to how it is viewed within communities. However, the Vice-president was keen to repudiate this view, promoting that cricket is a sport for all to join in with and enjoy no matter an individual’s background. Negongo displayed consistency in message, agreeing that there was a need for the Association to “take the game to the people”. Negongo further elaborated on the role that media outlets have to play in aiding the sport to continue to develop; with it being stated that media outlets having a big role in allowing Namibian people to become exposed to cricket and ultimately sparking an interest.
Cricket Namibia is also keen to ensure that age is not an excluding factor from participation as well. As stated in a press release, ‘Cricket is a sport for life with the goal of providing maximum opportunities for people to participate’ and with this in mind, the association has launched an Over 40’s league. The aim of this league is to allow players to continue to play and enjoy cricket for as long as they wish to whilst ensuring that the competitive edge remains.
The league has a long term aim, with the country looking to allow the development of “veteran” players who will be competing for places in the Over 50 world cup side. Namibia competed in the Over 50’s world cup for the first time this year in Cape Town as an invitational team. From this initial exposure to the competition, Cricket Namibia identified the need to create a local platform to allow for the identification of players and to allow for skill development.
The tournament is set to be organised as a franchise competition, with four teams competing for the title. The players will be selected via an open draft process which will be made available to players interested in competing. There will also be the ability for sponsors to own one of the teams. The first round of the competition is scheduled to take place on the 5th and 6th December 2020 with the second round on the 30th and 31st January 2021.
If you would like to register your interest in the competition follow this link.
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