WITH all eyes trained on the annual Namibia Sport Awards, I have been wondering which sport codes will dominate the glittering event come October 28 when Namibia honours those men and women who have done well on the sports fields, locally and internationally.
As is common knowledge, the independent panel of judges looks at the athletes’ performances at national, regional, continental and global sport events to determine the deserving winners of the various sporting categories.
I don’t think I’m wrong when I argue that the playing field is and was never levelled, taking into consideration which sport codes normally walk away with the grandest of prizes. I also think that the inclusion of professional athletes in the awards has somewhat watered down the true essence of the awards.
How justifiable is it when a boxing academy which gets millions of dollars in sponsorship dominates the major categories of the awards at the expense of the national federations and umbrella bodies who year in and year out complain about lack of funding and meagre grants from Government. Why do we allow apples to be weighed against oranges?
Why do the judges allow such unfair treatment to cloud the objective of the sports awards?
A quick glance back to the awards of 2013, 2014 and 2015 will show and tell that a particular code has been walking away with the accolades. And that code trades in the professional category where loads of sponsorship money is pumped.
The point I’m making is that perhaps the time has come to have separate sport awards for the amateur and professional athletes, sports bodies and umbrella bodies affiliated to the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC).
Let the professional sporting bodies organise their individual awards by seeking their own sponsorships. This is simply not a fair game nor are we doing justice to the young and upcoming athletes who will be forced to wait for a good number of years before they claim some of these lucrative prizes.
Like I said before, history will once again repeat itself. We will witness the same sport codes dominating the sports awards. And if that happens again, we will gradually see amateur codes and bodies losing interest in these awards. If that is not what we want, we should have a serious review of these awards and try to do things differently in the coming years.
In the meantime, good luck to the nominated athletes, codes and bodies.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015