Namibia resurfaced at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville but their presence is not without any surprise as the President of the Namibia Table Tennis Association, Reinnardt Stanley plays the role of player and coach for the four-man team.

Although he has not tasted any action in the two matches played on the opening day by his team, but he has been listed in the competition.

An excited Reinnardt Stanley describes the team as a unified team that is democratic. “When we were coming for the games, we could not get a coach and I had to act as one while I am also part of the team as a player,” he said.

Particularly, the democratic nature of the association of the Southwest African nation has made it possible for every member of the team to be part of the decision-making body.

“In the Namibia table tennis association, we are so democratic that we believe everybody should have a part in the decision making of the body. This democracy is our style of management in the association. We wanted everyone to be relevant and that is we believe that being the president does not make it a permanent office. So even the players are part of the management,” Stanley said.

He blamed dwindling fortune of table tennis on lack of coaching and development. “We are really struggling in Namibia because we don’t have a coach while we also lack development programme that can help the sport to grow. For now, we are working out a way to get a Chinese coach that will assist in the area of coaching. In terms of development, we will also make frantic efforts to ensure this,” he said.

On the inability of Namibia to be attending major continental tournaments, he said: “I don’t think we need to be focusing on attending competitions but we want to get exposed in the region first before thinking of playing at the continental level. Also funding is a major challenge as we are seen as lesser sport compared to football and others. But we are working out a way to get more sponsors for the sport in our country and we are hoping that it will work in order for us to develop the sport,” Stanley said.