Sunday 20 June 2021
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Reward Policy still in the dark

The one document that is supposed to guide sports administrators on how to reward Namibian athletes who put up stellar performances at international and local events is yet to see the light of day.
The draft document of the Reward Policy was submitted to the desk of the Sport Director in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services Sivute Katamba last year on 19 September by the Namibia Sports Commission.
Since then, the ministry has kept delaying the finalization of the document that athletes eagerly await. Answering to questions sent to the ministry with regards to the whereabouts of the document, Permanent Secretary Emma Kantema-Gaomas maintained that both the National Sport Rewards, and Categorization policies had reached an advanced stage but asked for more time.
“This process reached an advanced stage but you will appreciate that we experienced leadership changes. As a result, our new leader [Erastus Uutoni] has to be provided ample time to acquaint himself,” she said, adding that the documents are yet to be submitted through the relevant government structures.
“In the ministry, we regard the two above mentioned policies as crucial, hence we expedited the process as we believe it will guide us to ensure consistency in how we reward our sportsman/women,” said Kantema-Gaomas.
Sources close to the ministry say the Reward Policy is not the first document that has recieved little priority since being relayed to the ministry, heralding a culture at the ministry to sit on pressing documents.
In April, Namibia participated at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, where the country scooped two gold medals through marathon queen Helalia Johannes and boxing sensation Jonas Junias Jonas. The two athletes are yet to be rewarded. The continued failure to implement the policy to date delays rewards for these athletes.
Before these athletes took off to Australia, Freddy Mwiya, Chief Administrator of the NSC said; “It will not be appropriate for our team to come back from the Commonwealth Games and there is no document that guides us on how we should reward them.”
According to Mwiya, the NSC role was to draft the document and make sure it was on the right desk. “Our work is done here so we will just have to wait on our colleagues from the other side to finalise it.”
Mwiya maintains that the delay in the passing of the policy hinders the sport commission’s efforts to budget properly. He added that it is not only about money, but sport development too.
Upon their return from the Commonwealth Games, mobile giant MTC during the opening event of the first ever National Youth Games held in Windhoek took the opportunity to award both Jonas and Helalia N$40 000 each for their recent victories.
It goes without mention that Namibian athletes who excelled at international platforms over the years had to settle for anything given to them without any adopted guiding reward policy.
Both male and female national soccer teams enjoy a history of funds delayed in payments after triumphs.
Para-athletes Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala and their guides had to wait for about a year before they got their monetary rewards after their 2016 Rio Olympic triumph.

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