No money to reward winning athletes
04 August 2020 | Sports
In 2019, Namibian athletes in different sport codes won medals at the Africa Games in Morocco, the World Athletics Championships in Doha and World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, amongst others.
This month marks a year since athletes won medals in cycling, archery and boxing at the Africa Games, while the two world championships took place in October and November.
Even though the national sports reward policy clearly stipulates that athletes who win silverware will be rewarded for their hard work, their line ministry and the sports commission are yet to reward these athletes.
Speaking to Nampa recently Gaby Ahrens, the chairperson of the athlete’s commission in Namibia, said it is shocking that athletes are yet to be compensated despite their heroic exploits. “Almost two months ago we wrote a letter to the commission and the minister, but the answer we got from them is that our matter is at the highest table but the ministry doesn’t have money. They said once treasury releases their funds for this year’s budget, they will pay these athletes,” she said.
She added that when athletes represent their country at international competitions, they are welcomed by government officials at the airport when they bring home medals but government is at the moment not fulfilling its promise to these athletes. “Right now, they are giving nothing, it’s disheartening as these are events that have been budgeted for.”
She said despite getting a response from the ministry that they do not have funds, the athlete’s commission will continue engaging the ministry.
In reaction, NSC Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya said the commission has submitted a budget of N$910 000 to its line ministry and is waiting to hear from the acting executive director who they scheduled a meeting with regarding this matter.
Approached for comment, the acting ED in the Ministry of Sport, Sivute Katamba, referred Nampa to senior sports officer Roger Kambatuku, who by the time of completion of this story had not responded to the questions posed to him. – Nampa