JONAS Junias Jonas and Mathias Amunyela, who refused to board their flight to Germany for the AIBA World Boxing Championships, have been both been left out in the cold, as far as nominations for the MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Award are concerned.
And even though Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator, Freddy Mwiya, told Confidente this week that this did not play a role in them not being nominated, the boxing duo did themselves no favours with their conduct.
They both performed exceptionally well at the AIBA Africa Boxing Championships, held in Congo-Brazzaville earlier this year, when they each won gold medals.
However, their refusal to board the plan to Germany, allegedly because their further demands for pocket money were denied, has put blight on their promising careers.
The pair had been given pocket money by the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC), which they reportedly squandered, and their actions resulted in Namibia not having any representatives in Germany, at a time when funding woes are severely affecting the country’s international participation.
Jonas also faces a sexual assault case in Brazil, after an alleged attack on a hotel worker at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He is out on bail.
It would have come as no surprise, if the MTC/NSC Namibia Sports Awards panel of judges had informed the public that the two boxers had not been nominated, because of their behaviour.
The sports awards honour our outstanding sportsmen and women, who are doing their country proud on a national, regional and international level, and whether or not their actions influenced the judges in any way is not the issue.
The fact is that sport codes must take the responsibility to educate their athletes, and enlighten them on the importance of representing their country; and above all else, athletes should understand why they are presented with national colours at the Namibia Sports Commission.
They are awarded national colours, and a code of conduct by the NSC, but I doubt if our athletes understand why they need to sign this code of conduct.
The NSC leadership should push for individual sport codes to drive a campaign that clearly articulates the importance of discipline and commitment, when athletes are selected to represent their country.
All athletes should learn from the onset that representing Namibia is a privilege and that they carry the hopes and dreams of the nation, when they compete.
This should be ingrained in them, so that ill-discipline and big heads never sully their careers.
In the case of Jonas and Amunyela, the Namibian Boxing Federation should tell us what steps they have taken.
And if they have taken none, the sporting fraternity deserves to know the reasons why they didn’t get to the bottom of what happened.
In the same breath, I want to suggest to the NSC leadership that they instruct all sport codes representing the country to conduct post-mortems that look at the performances, weaknesses, strengths and discipline of all athletes, be it at local, regional or international competitions.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015