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The Deputy Minister of Sports, Youth, and National Service, Emma Kantema-Gaomas, officially broke ground for the construction of the Nkurenkuru Multipurpose Youth Resource Center.

Since Kavango West was declared an independent region ten years ago, the region has been operating without a proper sports field.

Sports lovers use school sport fields and other facilities for their regional sports activities.

Deputy Sports Minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas said that with the Nkurenkuru Multipurpose Youth Resource Center, the ministry is crafting a beacon of hope for sports lovers.

“With the Nkurenkuru Multipurpose Youth Resource Center, we are creating a beacon of hope for young people to engage in sports and recreational activities that enhance their physical, mental, and social well-being. The national youth policy underscores the importance of providing a supportive environment for youth development to help them realize their potential. This project embodies that vision. Phases 1A and 1B will establish the foundation for a sporting complex that will nurture talent and promote youth involvement. The significant financial investment in this project underscores our dedication to youth and sports development. In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, we completed fencing, and in 2022/2023, the ministry allocated N$200,000.00 for plot clearing and maintenance," Kantema-Gaomas stated.

In the current financial year, N$10 million was made available for phase 1A, which will focus on feasibility studies, design, documentation, and layout.

The plan is to construct the Nkurenkuru Multipurpose Youth Resource Center over the next three financial years.

The ministry has earmarked an additional N$45 million for the subsequent phases.

“We have come a long way with this project, to be precise ten years to come to this stage. However, the region has learned in the past that ministries sometimes just stop projects midway after the ground-breaking event, so this time around the region will closely monitor the implementation of this project until its completion. Our youth struggle to prepare themselves for various sports codes because there are no proper sports facilities in the region, and this project is responding to their needs,” Governor of Kavango West Region Sirkka Ausiku said.

Ferdinand Hausiku, the Chairperson of the Kavango West Second Division, explains that at the moment, the region is faced with some challenges in terms of infrastructure.

“As you may see, this is actually the kind of sports field we are finding our boys playing on. For example, we are preparing for the Namibian Newspaper Cup since we are the defending champions. Training on this kind of soccer field and then competing on a different surface is not easy. It's tough to prepare the youth to compete with others who have all the necessary sports facilities. So far, the business community is not coming through, and we are only relying on the Ministry, which has been allocated a small budget,” Hausiku said.

The Kavango West regional soccer team is preparing to defend its title at the Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup.

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Author
Elizabeth Mwengo