Sports awards in limbo due to COVID-19

By Michael Uugwanga 

THE Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is yet to make a final decision on whether to host this year’s Namibia Annual Sports Awards, due to Covid-19 that has affected sport activities, not only in Namibia but globally. 
The Namibia Annual Sports Awards are expected to take place in October, however due to lack of sporting activities this year it will be very difficult for the prestigious awards to take place. 
Athletes are usually judged based on their performances from September the previous year to September the year in which the awards are being held. 
Speaking to Confidente Sport, Chief Administrator at NSC, Freddy Mwiya said that the commission will only pronounce itself regarding the future of the awards at a later stage. 
If sporting activities continue to be on hold in the next few months, the NSC could be forced to use other alternatives of hosting the awards such as online awards although Government has eased restrictions on gathering, meaning any gathering will be allowed to have at least 50 people on condition that they adhere to the rules and regulations of wearing a mask and social distancing. 
One event that was already postponed is the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 that was due to take place in Eswatini on 26 May, with a new date set to be announced once Covid-19 is declared over. 
The Regional Annual Sport Awards honours the best athletes in Region 5 from member states such as Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
“We are busy coming up with plans regarding sports awards. The board will pronounce themselves on plan B. Most of the projects such as sports expos and youth games have all been affected due to Covid-19. But changes will be shared after the board’s decision on the matter after getting input from all stakeholders and sponsors,” said Mwiya. 
Namibia has about 54 sport codes which all depend on the financial injection from NSC, which needs at least N$90 million to fulfil its obligations. However it is understood that the line ministry is unable to give out such a lumpsum to NSC due to the fact that the Ministry has prioritised other areas of importance such as capital projects for the youth, bilateral commitments with foreign countries and salaries. 
“Looking at Covid-19 and challenges the country is having we need to accept a small increase. We are indeed at least appreciative of what has been allocated. 
“However we do understand the situation at hands, but we have more pressing needs such as to prepare a team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Mwiya.