DESPITE not having cruised past the quarter final stage at the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) Indoor World Cup that just ended in Berlin, Germany, our very own hockey female greats have done nothing but pride us for their overwhelming display at the world spectacle.
Getting their berth at the world cup showdown, The Land of Brave has demonstrated class and character when they defeated the United States of America (USA) into tenth place to secure ninth placement overall at the world cup.
Apart from that, the hockey national women’s team has had their phenomenal striker Kianne – Che Cormack awarded the top goal-scorer award of the tournament. At the same tournament Namibia also drew against Australia and Russia despite losing to Czeck Republic, Ukraine and newly crowned champion Germany. By all means, these ladies deserved heroines’ welcome and recognition from the rightful authorities just like the Namibia’s Brave Warriors were treated to a warm welcome by fans and leadership from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC). We must do away with selective treatment when it comes to acknowledging our sports teams after representing this Land of the Brave internationally. I am not saying that teams must be rewarded but a simple acknowledgement will undoubtedly make our players feel appreciated and wanted. If my memory serves me right, our women’s hockey team is now an accomplished side rated equally with our very own Welwitschias (rugby team) and our cricket national team for having represented this country at the world cup spectacle.
And unlike, the national cricket team who in 2003 during the International Cricket Council (ICC) world cup in South Africa lost all their games, and Welwitschias still to record their first win at the Rugby World Cup, our hockey ladies managed several draws at the indoor world cup. I am confident that, had the long awaited Rewarding Sport Policy been in place and operational, it could have expressly indicated how the hockey women’s team could have been rewarded. However, in the absence of the rewarding policy, I bet the leadership at the helm of the Sports Commission have no idea on how to acknowledge the ladies’ hockey team. When the whole process of formulating the reward policy including the long awaited categorization policy was ongoing, there were intense talks of concluding those documents as a matter of urgency. Yet again, the snail-like approach of the sport leadership and the line ministry does nothing but injustice to our sportsmen and women. In just a few month, no let me be specific, the Commonwealth Games are scheduled for early April in Gold Coast, Australia yet in the absence of the ‘Rewarding Policy’ we have no idea what the remuneration packages are in the event our athletes win medals at the games. I think that the onus is on the Sports Commission leadership, and that includes sport commissioners to pressure the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service. Most importantly, the newly appointed minister, Erastus Uutoni must push for these documents to tabled at Cabinet level before being debated in National Assembly, now that Parliament has officially opened for business. Let us have these policies up and running and avoid a situation where athletes refuse to compete internationally because of lack of incentives for their troubles. Let me in all earnestly implore on our no-nonsense sport, youth and national service deputy minister Agnes Tjongarero to push for these documents to be finalized so that the modus operandi on how best to approach sports matters are clearly outlined and specified. Oh my Gosh! Here we are still waiting on the revised and up to standard Boxing Act. I clearly don’t have any idea how far the Boxing Control Board is with this process, and the Minister who mandated them to speedily finish that document has had his services terminated. The question is whether the Boxing Control Board did what was required of them to finalise matters around the
finalisation of the Boxing Act?
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