Sports for the disabled set to grow

The signing ceremony took place at the offices of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and was witnessed by members of the NSFPD, the media as well as the Control Officer for People with Disabilities in the office of the Prime Minister, Oscar Andima.

According to the IPC Project Implementation Framework Agreement, the IPC will assist Namibia to enhance the situation for their members to ensure greater participation in sport.

Funds will be provided for recruitment of athletes and training needs based assessments and capacity building.

Activities include conducting needs assessments, strategic planning workshops, and developing youth programmes to enhance athlete and leadership development.

To get any assistance from the IPC, Namibia has to identify projects, according to priority, and draw up proposals and budgets that they submit to the IPC who will in turn see how and where they can assist the NSFPD to implement such projects.

The agreement stretches over a period of two years and also depends on new projects until Namibia becomes self sustainable.

Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya are the first three countries in the world to benefit from such an agreement with the IPC.

IPC Development Consultant Corne Rossouw, who facilitated the signing ceremony, said Namibia and the other two countries were selected on the basis of their need for assistance.

Namibia has not received any assistance from the IPC since they revived their membership with the international body in 2004.

NSFPD President Tsire Tsauseb, who signed on behalf of Namibia, said one area where Namibia will need assistance from the IPC is the establishment of a classifying body.

Classifiers form the backbone of sport for people with disabilities because they determine in which categories athletes with disabilities should participate to allow competition on an equal and fair basis.

Other areas that need improvement is the training of coaches and athletes as well as to perk up the federation’s administration functions, Tsauseb said.

Rossouw, who is an Adapted Physical Activity Specialist at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, advised Namibians to look into awareness campaigns to sensitize the public about sports for people with disabilities and by so doing get them involved.

She also urged people living with disabilities to find a way to show their ability by becoming the best organised committee in Namibia.

Rossouw emphasised that it will ask for hard work to make the project a success.

Tsauseb on his part said, the project could be a success if all the members are involved and committed.

During her visit Rossouw also met with Donovan Zealand from the University of Namibia’s Department of Physical Education to look into possible partnerships.

Rossouw also said she conducted a workshop with volunteers on dealing with people and athletes with disabilities.

Meanwhile, the NSFPD is in the process of establishing the federation’s structures.

At the moment the federation only consists of an executive committee of six members that are responsible for administration as well as development.

The name of the federation will also change soon to the National Paralympics Committee of Namibia.

June 2006
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