More motivation for whistleblowers

Otis Daniels
JSB Betting announced the extension of its Namibia Rugby Union partnership with an N$500 000 sponsorship towards the Namibian Rugby Referees Association.
Jayson Zulch, a director of JSB Betting, made the announcement at the NRU’s headquarters at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
“We have aligned ourselves with the long-term vision of the NRU to grow the game and make it all inclusive. This is quite a substantial commitment from us. Our previous sponsorship totalled N$350 000.
“We have certainly stepped up our game because we are not just here for the short term and we want to improve opportunities for Namibians.”
Zulch said the occasion marks a huge day for both the NRU and Namibian referees.
“The plan to remunerate referees is one of the first steps to growing the game by providing opportunities for both new and experienced referees to learn and attend courses. We believe that in doing so we just might inspire more people to take up the whistle.”
The sponsorship will ensure that referees are remunerated for matches they officiate. They will also be provided with primary and secondary kits (shirts and shorts) as well as track suits and kit bags.
Zulch thanked the referees for their commitment to the sport.
“You are the ones that put in hard work that often goes unrecognised and are not celebrated nor appreciated enough. Thank you for ensuring that the game is fair and for continuously learning the rules to make the right decisions. Without you, there would not be a game to play.
“We are looking forward to seeing more orange on the field and fewer yellow and red cards.”
William Steenkamp, the operations manager of the NRU, explained that money from the sponsorship will be allocated to paying referees a match fee. “We did not determine the amount yet per match. It will be defined by the ranking of the match.”
The CEO of the NRU, John Heynes, added that an important aspect was getting the referees to the playing fields they need to be at.
“Referees will be paid for officiating at Premier, First and Reserve League matches. We are also looking at transportation and accommodation because referees should be in a proper state of body and mind when officiating games in the far south or north of the country, or at the coast. This aspect was already introduced in mid-March 2024.”