Matheus says strategic plan vital

By John Tuerijama

THE recently announced sport commissioners attended an induction course at Daan Viljoen Game Lodge on the western outskirts of Windhoek last month.

During the official announcement of the sports commissioners, Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service Erastus Uutoni urged the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC)’s reappointed chairperson Joel Matheus to have the commissioners attend the induction course so as to understand the commission’s strategic plan 2022.

Responding to questions from this publication on the importance of the induction course and how far the NSC has gone in the implementation of the strategic plan, Matheus said: “It is indeed very important for the board to understand the institution’s strategic plan, because that is the road map that helps them direct the ship to its intended destination.”

He added: “The board is there to provide overview direction; the plan is their guiding instrument to check if the institution is going the right way. In terms of implementation, we started already. Look at the projects like the National Youth Games, Namibia Sport Expo and decentralization of the Namibia Annual Sport Awards to mention but a few.”

Asked if there were financial constraints that may hinder the implementation of the strategic plan, the soft-spoken Matheus said financial constraints will always be there, adding that the board will implement the plan to the best of the institution’s capacity – both in terms of finances and human resources.

He said the main challenge is the lack of finances and with the current economic meltdown the country is enduring, the NSC’s budget was cut to the bone, which makes it a bit difficult to get things going.

“But we are very confident that with our partners that believe in our vision we will get things to happen to a very big extent. Human capacity is also another challenge and we need to increase our manpower to get things to happen at a very fast rate.”

On the roles and responsibilities of the NSC sport commissioners, the board chairperson said the commissioners are there to provide oversight and direction to the NSC and represent the interest of the State (and the wider public), which makes their role explicitly important.

Regarding the NSC strategic plan Matheus said the plan was the most audacious and exciting direction taken for sport in the country over the past few years. On good governance, he said: “It is exciting because our strategic plan is delivered from that of our line ministry, of which the ministry plan speaks to the NDP5. This is for the first time that we have derived a strategic document for sport from a national strategic document.”

The chairperson said never before was sport mentioned in all past NDPs. In terms of governance, he said: “Yes, I think we can. Why not? If you look at our plan, it has identified governance as one of the areas that needs to be addressed. That is why we deliberately came up with strategic objective two and three, which pronounces itself on how it will address this,” he stressed.

On whether the strategic plan articulates the key strategies that will put in place and strengthen the NSC’s position, operations and performance potential for Namibia to become an excellent sporting nation come 2022, Matheus said they would have implemented a lot that is in the strategic plan.

He said they have three years to 2022 and that one thing the public must know and understand is that the Sport Commission just crafted a plan but the plan belongs to each and every Namibian, and each one has to play a role at their various level to ensure that they realize what has been put on the goal chart.

He said the reason why the NSC consulted so extensively during the formulation process was to ensure that everyone’s input is reflected and therefore the sport community must take ownership of the document, because it is a plan for the whole sport movement and fraternity, including the media.