Mining giant commits to flying with the Birds
“Today we are gathered here to celebrate the legacy of a great sports club, which I strongly believe has been and continues to be instrumental in the social upliftment of not only our coastal community, but also the greater Namibia.”
Those were the words of Simon Solomons, managing director of Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine, at Blue Waters’ 80th year anniversary celebrations at the Kuisebmond stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday evening.
“Guided by our corporate and community relations policy, Langer Heinrich Uranium’s unconditional support for Blue Waters Sport Club’s professional football and youth development programmes certainly emphasizes our ultimate aim of contributing towards positive economic and social change within Namibia.”
Since 2010, Langer Heinrich Uranium has sponsored more than N$1.5 million to Blue Waters Sports Club.
“We believe this was based on our request to incorporate sports development amongst the youth of Walvis Bay in its activities – the sports club has commitments in promoting football, cricket and netball, not only amongst the young boys of this great town, but also amongst the girls.”
Solomons added that his company’s commitment to Blue Waters Sport Club’s Youth Development Programme is strengthened by the growing participation of youth, especially girls, with disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We are also aware and proud of the fact that due to the activities of Blue Waters there has been significant increase in the number of young athletes getting exposure to national competitions and trials, while the numbers of those who have successfully joined national teams, are also increasing.”
“The vision of Namibia lies in the hands of its youth. Not providing the youth with opportunities to develop overall life skills and talent will be a great wastage of human resources. The role of the youth in nation-building is crucial and recognized by our government in its national programmes and institutions,” he added.
“In order to support government in its endeavours to develop skilled, talented, ambitious and productive youth, we have incorporated youth education, sports and cultural development in our community investment portfolio.”
“Physical exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to improving physical health, sport plays a vital role in facilitating improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, which results in fewer behavioural problems,” he said.
Sports participation supports what is known as the ‘5 Cs’- competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring, which are considered critical components of positive youth development.
Langer Heinrich Uranium believes positive youth development enables individuals to grow into respectable adults with the capacity of making wise decisions that not only affect themselves, but those around them.
“We should also not underestimate the employment opportunities created through the development of sports – not only for those on the field of play, but also for the many off the field. In football, employment is created for coaches, match officials, administrators, ball boys and also those that water the football pitches,” he said.
The company expressed satisfaction with the club’s progress such as increased access to sports programmes and facilities for young girls and boys; increased participation of girls in previously boys dominated sports codes; strengthened sports administration and coaching skills at school level, and social interaction between people from different backgrounds, thus strengthening local community identity and cohesion.
The gathering was graced by football heavyweights past and present with well-known comedian Neville Basson having those in attendance in stitches with his jokes.
Local multi-talented muso Whannie Jansen, formerly with the now defunct Khomasdal pop ensemble, Chicittos, accompanied by the smooth saxophone melodies of polished horn man Tony Janga, kept revelers on the dance floor very busy with some golden oldies.