NHRA president is happy
The president of the Namibia Horse Racing Association (NHRA), Marthinus de Waal, has said he is delighted with the progress of the sport in Namibia.
The NHRA was formed in 1999 with only six racing clubs and a few individuals with horses.
“So far we have 16 horse-racing clubs affiliated with the NHRA,” he said.
De Waal added that the association has bases in central, southern and eastern Namibia and they are slowly progressing to northern Namibia as they now enjoy support in Okahandja and Omaruru as well.
“We are trying to reach the whole of Namibia and we normally host our festive season event at Swakopmund. The huge number of spectators at our events shows that this sport code is in demand and the community love it,” De Waal said.
He further said they also plan to invest in jockeys. The association plans to send jockeys to South Africa for training as Namibia currently does not have a training school for riders.
“Sending them to South Africa will help the jockeys with skills to compete in competitions and handling horses, among others,” he said.
De Waal however said they are challenged by a lack of sponsorship.
He said the association finds it difficult to develop horse racing without financial support.
“We were receiving N$15 000 per year from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) but now they stopped. But the aspiration from racing clubs and horse owners to host racing events is commendable,” he emphasised.
Contacted for comment, NSC acting chief administrator Junias Hamalua said the N$ 15 000 yearly grant to the NHRA stopped two years ago for economic reasons, adding that not only horse racing was affected by this.
“We gave written reasons to all federations who benefited from this grant two years back and we encouraged them to generate money through various means,” Hamalua explained.