Long-serving Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU) national coordinator, Solly Duiker, will not be seeking to extend his stay at the helm of the school sports body when his current terms comes to an end in 2021.
Duiker, who took over as the NSSU national coordinator in 2007, had his contract extended by another five years last year despite criticism from the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, who in 2016 expressed disappointment with the operations of the NSSU.
At the time, Tjongarero told a consultative meeting with representatives of different sports codes that the NSSU is not doing enough to discover talent at a young age for all the different sport codes.
But speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Duiker said he is still the right man for the job and those criticizing his work were doing so without understanding the challenges that he faces every day.
“I am the right person for the job because of my passion for sport. I do not even get medical aid at NSSU that I used to enjoy when I was a teacher. There is also no pension fund here and over-time. This means that the person that will succeed me might not last long here,” Duiker said.
“Luckily, I have a wife that is still a teacher for me to benefit from her medical aid. At times I use my own pocket money to travel with work.”
Duiker said the deputy minister criticized the NSSU before she was informed about the harsh working conditions and the challenges in which they are operating under.
He said since 2016, the NSSU’s annual budget has been halved to N$4 million.
“The (deputy) minister was not informed about the situation at the NSSU, but now she understands after Jo-Ann Manuel, the deputy director of marginalised people and women in sport, explained to her.
“We are still faced with challenges such as finance and transport since we rely on government. In the past, we used to charge parents N$600 for athletes’ tracksuits, but because of the financial difficulties, we are now charging parents N$4,000 to N$5,000 for their kids’ tracksuits. I want to thank the parents for their continuing support towards their kids.”
Duiker added that the NSSU will hire an understudy in the next two years, who will eventually take over from him when his contract comes to an end.
“Two years from now, we are going to hire someone who will learn from me. The position will also be advertised. Currently, there are only three full-time staff members at NSSU,” Duiker said.