Nam athletes deserve better – Shiyuka
By Kaipaherue Kandjii
Windhoek – Most Namibian athletes are living in squalor despite doing the nation proud both at the local and international arena, a top sports official has said.
The athletes deserve befitting recognition and rewards for their efforts and significant achievements towards sports excellence, say acting Chairperson of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Amos Shiyuka.
“We have athletes, who are doing the nation proud, yet they are not recognized. Then what do they do it for? Some of them do not even have other jobs – they do sports for a living. And to add salt to injury, they even live in shacks, yet they are national heroes,” Shiyuka lamented.
He was speaking during the launch of the 2015 edition of the MTC/ NSC Sports Awards in Windhoek on September 17.
The annual national event which will be held on October 23 in Windhoek celebrates and recognizes the achievements of Namibia’s sports men and women.
Shiyuka called on sports federations that represent various sporting codes, to nominate and submit their nominations on time, saying they do the athletes injustice “by not doing so, which often results in athletes not being eligible for awards due to late nominations and so forth”.
He said the sport commission will focus on “main sporting codes” and do away with some sporting codes done for “fun” in the near future.
“Unfortunately we cannot nominate athletes, and we cannot be the referee and the player at the same time. And secondly, our resources are scattered everywhere, so we will be putting emphasis on our main sporting codes rather than other sport activities done for fun only,” he added.
A total of 19 awards will be given out on the evening compared to 16 last year. These include the Sportsman with Disability and Sportswoman with Disability of the Year awards.
The biggest prize on the night will be the Sports Achiever of the Year, which comes with prize money of N$200 000, with a N$100 000 purse for Sportsman/Women both abled and disabled and N$10 000 per media category in Radio, Television, Newspaper, Magazine and Digital amongst others.
The chairperson of the five judge panel Talitha Jario has promised a transparent process. In a statement, Jario said no judge is allowed to discuss the process or make commentary regarding nominations to the media without the communications channels as per the NSC Act.
“We have made a few recommendations, and we need to justify every nomination on paper. We will do our own investigation on information provided to us as per nominations, even if it means going to the people and ask if what you are telling is true or not,” she said.
Other judges are Lesley Tjiueza, Monica Dahl, Patrick Haingura, and Carlos Kambaekua.
Apart from the sport commission, and Mobile Telecommunication (MTC), a host of other sponsors have come on board to sponsor the awards such as NamPower, Namibia Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC), Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Safari Hotel, and PriceWaterCoopers.
The mobile giant, MTC has availed N$600 000, while power utility NamPower donated N$350 000 towards the event.
Deadline for submission is, Friday, October 9 and the announcements of the finalists will be done on Monday, 19 October 2015. The MTC/NSC Sports Awards 2015 will be held under the same theme as in 2014 titled “Creating a winning sporting Nation”.
Featured Image:sportsman of the Year 2014 Jonas Junius Jonas