By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator, Freddy Mwiya, has been given an ultimatum to present the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo, with a sport reward policy and a finalised policy on the categorisation of the country’s sport codes, within the next two weeks.
Mwiya told Confidente this week that the minister has urgently requested his office to speed up the processes involved, and present both the sport reward and categorisation policies to him within a fortnight.
He said the sport reward policy will serve as a guide to the ministry and the commission, in terms of the monetary rewards for athletes, after they deliver outstanding performances at international competitions.
“We have to ensure that our athletes are compensated for their excellent performances at events, such as the All-Africa Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games,” Mwiya said.
“We have to ensure that when the athletes come back home, they already know what to expect. And if they, for example, win a gold, silver or bronze medal, they don’t end up fighting each other (on who receives what amount).
“This will be a guiding policy and will elaborate on the value that an athlete must get, as a reward for individual sport events. I am pushing for the policy to be implemented, and as I was an outsider prior to my employment, I also had that challenge with my athletes, as to what they will get if they win a gold or silver medal,” Mwiya said
“We have conflict situation about what to do with our winning athletes, and as the sports commission we will remain transparent in that process,” he said.
As for the categorisation process, the chief administrator said the reviewing process has already been concluded by his predecessors and experts from the various sport codes were consulted widely.
Paralympian Johanna Benson was rewarded handsomely, after winning gold at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The 27-year-old from Walvis Bay received a whopping N$170 000 for her efforts.
She also received a house at the coastal town, as well as a diplomatic passport from the government.
Last year, a group of Paralympians staged an impromptu march in front of the ministry of sport, demanding their remuneration after their excellent performances at the All-Africa Games, held in Congo-Brazzaville a few years.
They demanded that the line ministry implement a sport reward policy, while accusing it of giving them empty promises.
They alleged that they were promised N$100 000 for a gold medal, N$70 000 for a silver and N$40 000 for a bronze.
The Paralympians also requested government to offer them employment, as they will be forced to retire from active sport in a few years’ time.
Recently, many expected the current IBO, WBA and IBF super-lightweight world champion, Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, to be handsomely rewarded for his achievements, but that did not happen.
Ekandjo has previously said that Indongo is a professional athlete, and has not revealed any plans to reward the triple world champion, after he defeated Scotsman Ricky Burns in Glasgow in April, to unify the titles.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015