24 August 2007

NAMIBIA : Hangala to Vie for NBF Presidency

By Corry Ihuhua

FORMER Namibia Basketball Federation (NBF) president Penda Hangala aims to vie for the position again after an absence of at least three years from the national fold.

Hangala, 31, told The Namibian Sport in an interview that he will vie for the position at the end of September when the NBF will hold its congress.

Talitha Jario is currently the president and she has been serving for just over two years.

Hangala said his decision to stand again was because of a lack of development in the game, which he says can be largely attributed to a total lack of vision by the current executive.

He said he has seen no development structures in place, and not much has been done to develop the game at grassroots level.

"I realised that there is a lot to be done to make the sport one of the leading codes in the country.

The current executive has done little to achieve this and it is time for a new chapter in the game," he said.

He said he has given the current executive enough time to bring in changes in the sport, but nothing has been done to even put the sport on the regional and international map.

"These people had a chance for the past few years but up to this stage have not proven themselves," he said.

Hangala is currently involved with football and has been running the Fifa-approved Futsal programme, which caters for indoor football in Katutura.

He recently also changed the Namibia Basketball Organisation (NBO) which he set up about two years ago, to Zula Basketball Organisation (ZBO), which he says will serve as a marketing arm of Zula Entertainment, a company which he owns.

He said he would contest for the NBF presidency as the chairman of ZBO.

Hangala was also concerned about the current financial status of the NBF, saying that the executive has failed to involve stakeholders in the advancement of the game.

Nampower is the only recognised sponsor of the NBF activities, but funding has been coming in small portions and therefore failing to help the game stake its claim among the biggest codes in the country.

"For basketball to be on the regional and international map, one needs a strong leadership.

The current executive does not have a passion for the game and their drive to achieve important objectives has been wanting," he said.

If elected, Hangala hopes to surround himself with the best administrators in the game, who he says should be goal driven and committed to make the sport flourish on all levels.

"The new leadership needs to replace the current systems in place and bring in changes that can be of advantage to the game and most importantly to the players."

He said he wants to involve as many people as possible in the game by establishing strong regional structures .He also wants to introduce programmes aimed at creating awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse, while focus will also be given on HIV-Aids prevention.

Hangala resigneda fter serving for three years as president, paving the way for his then vice president Ndeulipula Hamutumwa to take over.

Hamutumwa did not serve long either and was replaced by Jario, who at one stage was temporarily ousted through a vote of no confidence.

Sackarias Iipumbu took over for a few days, but Jario, dubbed the 'iron lady of basketball' managed to regain the presidency after the intervention of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC).

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