By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA’S gold medalist duo of Helalia Johannes and Jonas Junias Jonas will only be rewarded after the Rewarding Policy is finanlised, the Director of Sport in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service Edelberth Sivute Katamba said.
Katamba told Confidente on enquiry this week that the Directorate was trying to have the Reward Policy finalised soon, after the Minister of Sport Erastus Uutoni presented it to Cabinet this week.
“We really want to put the Reward Policy behind our back and we are pushing that urgently and when it’s approved we will know how to reward our athletes for the different athletics competitions,” said Katamba. He said the Ministry wanted to avoid a situation where athletes were rewarded differently hence the decision to have clear policy guidelines. Johannes won the women’s marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April clocking 2:32:40. She is Namibia’s first woman to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in athletics.
Namibian amateur boxer Jonas won the other gold medal after beating Canadian Thomas Blumenfeld on points.
Approached for comment, Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya said the commission was not mandated to reward athletes.
“We deal solely with developmental fund and our mandate is to implement projects and I do not think the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is mandated to reward athletes,” said Mwiya.
Earlier this year, Uutoni said the various sport policies needed to be concluded within the current financial year, which amongst others include the amended Sport Act and the categorisation policy.
Despite government’s decision to conclude the Reward Policy before honouring the gold medallists, the country’s largest mobile telephone operator, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), in May this year rewarded the duo with N$ 50 000 each.
MTC Chief Human Capital Officer Tim Ekandjo said at the event that the gesture was meant to inspire young and upcoming Namibian athletes to take sports seriously.
“MTC decided to award these two winners so as to show the young athletes that hard work pays off. Their performance in Australia was not for them as individuals, but for us as a country.”
Boxing sensation Jonas said that receiving the reward from MTC made him proud and will push him to work harder
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015