Excelling athletes to be rewarded
By Michael Uugwanga
THE Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MoSYNS) has said that it is busy engaging with the Ministry of Finance to assist with additional funds for the much-awaited National Sports Rewarding Policy.
The National Sports Rewarding Policy was approved by Cabinet in 2018 following marathon consultations and it is intended to award athletes who put up stellar performances at local and international events. Funds for this purpose will be provided by the MoSYNS through the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC).
The policy covers preparation for events, participation and rewards for athletes who have won and coaches as well and was meant to be realised during the 2019/2020 financial year.
The director for sport in the Ministry, Shivhute Katamba said that the two ministries had started with discussions, although there is no clear indication to whether the finance ministry will be keen to assist with funding due to the current economic crisis caused by Covid-19.
“We are currently engaging the Ministry of Finance to assist with additional funds for the Ministry (MoSYNS) to honour its reward commitment to the athletes and coaches. As you are aware, initially when the policy was adopted there was no financial allocation to it hence our continuous engagement with the Ministry of Finance to arrest the situation.
“Moreover, the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic and Namibia is not immune from this debilitating public health situation. As a responsible ministry we accept, in clear conscience, that most of the state resources have been diverted to deal with the pandemic.”
Top athletes such as female marathon runner Helalia Johannes, Paralympic sprinter Johannes Nambala, Olympian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas are set to be the first recipients from the rewarding policy following their success at major international events.
Johannes was the overall winner in the women’s marathon at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia which she followed up with a bronze medal at the 2019 World Athletics Championships (WAC) in Doha, Qatar, while Jonas won a gold medal when he defeated Thomas Blumenfeld of Canada 5-0 on points, in the men’s 64kg boxing event.
Nambala who is regarded as the country’s top leading para-athlete won two medals at the 2019 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
Renowned Olympic half marathon runner Ruben //Gowaseb is another athlete expected to benefit from the National Sports Rewarding Policy after he won a gold medal at the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Individual athletes who win gold medals in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games will receive N$200 000, while silver medallists will receive N$150 000 and bronze medallists N$100 000. Similarly, the coaches of these athletes will get N$80 000 (gold), N$60 000 (silver) and N$40 000 (bronze).
Team sports will also be awarded accordingly, while those that win gold medals will receive N$800 000, with the coaches receiving N$400 000.
Silver medallists will receive N$500 000, while the coaches get N$200 000; bronze medallists N$350 000 with the coaches getting N$100 000.
For preparation, teams will receive as much as N$120 000, while the coaches will receive N$24 000 a month and individuals will get N$60 000, with coaches getting N$12 000 a month.
“As a ministry, we know the athletes and coaches to whom reward is due and as soon as the funds are available, we will honour that commitment,” said Katamba.
“The NSC was informed by the ministry on the delay of the payout of the rewards. The athletes know that there are procedures.”