CRICKET Namibia Development Programme officer for Kunene region, Wilhelm Tuhafeni says “mental toughness” is crucial for athletes during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The advent of the spreading Covid-19 has adversely affected their projects and disrupted players’ rhythm, Tuhafeni said.
However, he understands that the safety and wellbeing of players and backroom staff is a priority at this time.
“Should the situation normalise (regarding Covid-19), we are looking at motivating all our players, coaches and management. Mental toughness is crucial in sport and that is probably the first step which will be followed by normal coaching activities,” Tuhafeni said.
The development officer said that most of their activities and events were planned for March and April but have since been called off until further notice.
“The negative is that we are currently on a standstill as no sporting activities are on hold, not only in our country but worldwide,” said Tuhafeni, who urged “everyone to stay home and be safe”.
“We would like to encourage and motivate all players, coaches and everyone involved in sports to stay active at their personal capacities [during the lockdown]. They can use this time to improve their game knowledge by reading, doing research and keeping in touch with teammates and coaches through various channels of communication,” Tuhafeni advised.
The Cricket Namibia Development Programme in Kunene has proved a success since its inception in 2014.
The initiative targets primary and secondary school pupils in the region as this is the most effective way to develop the sport code, Tuhafeni said.
Consistency and proactive development planning has been key to their success story thus far.
The programme has produced more than ten national cricket players to date, while the girls’ team won the 2018 Junior T20 League and 2019 under-13 girls’ cricket league.
“We are positive that the future is bright,” Tuhafeni noted.
Recently the programme started an initiative at Khorixas as part of their long term development plan which Tuhafeni is excited about. It launched shortly before Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“We are taking the sport of cricket to all parts of the region. Already, we have over 40 girls that are part of the hardball cricket program which will add a great boost to the already strong girls cricket development in the region,” Tuhafeni detailed.
Kunene’s cricket programme has a four-member management structure. They are Sakkie Haludilu, who assists with coaching the boys cricket team; teams directors Rosemary Horases and Patricia Hunibes; while Alfeus Tjiveze was recently appointed coordinator of Khorixas’ cricket development program.
The long term ambition is to be at the forefront of cricket in the country by making it the leading sport code in Kunene region, Tuhafeni said.