DNSS project concluded in Walvis Bay, Namibia

Over the past two years, the Namibia Canoeing and Rowing Federation (NCRF), in collaboration with the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), has spearheaded an impactful initiative funded by Olympic Solidarity, the Development of Nations Sports System (DNSS) project. This endeavour unfolded in three distinct phases, culminating in a training session for regional coaches held in Walvis Bay from May 2nd to May 5th, 2024.

The primary aim of the Olympic Solidarity-supported DNSS, facilitated through National Olympic Committees (NOCs), is “to cultivate and fortify the fundamental coaching structures and associated sport systems by formulating a medium- or long-term action plan for one or more sports on the Olympic program.”

Key objectives of the DNSS initiative encompassed the acquisition of coastal rowing boats, nurturing local talent, establishing developmental pathways for athletes, coaches, umpires, and technical delegates, as well as enhancing the organization of secure training sessions. 

The coastal city of Walvis Bay, with its geographical advantages and conducive environment, has emerged as an ideal setting for pioneering this innovative format of rowing. While elevating the standard of coach education remained paramount, it is noteworthy that this program marked the introduction of coastal rowing in Namibia. Classic rowing was the initial focus of rowing in Namibia, inspired by the nation’s participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: thereafter, the national team was involved in the inaugural African Beach Games in 2019, and from then on, the coastal rowing focus continues to expand.

In 2022, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Rowing Association,  the DNSS project supported the hosting of the Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprint Championship in Walvis Bay. This milestone occasion witnessed the NCRF receiving a consignment of boats and equipment, a pivotal step in propelling the coastal rowing program forward.

Moreover, the DNSS project afforded the Federation an opportunity to evaluate and bolster coach and athlete development pathways and activities, while also reviewing governance and administrative systems.

Local administrators have received support to build their capacities, and regional structures have been encouraged to develop and become self-sufficient.

The DNSS initiative in Namibia has not only identified and trained coaches in coastal rowing but also introduced officiating to a group of local officials.

 These efforts aim to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the Federation by establishing a robust structure and system that will continue to operate beyond the project’s duration.