Government must award athletes – Uutoni

The minister of sports, Erastus Uutoni has said that it is high time that the government award athletes that are bringing home medals from international competitions through the long awaited Namibia National Sports Reward Policy.   

The policy will seek to bestow awards on deserving athletes who have distinguished themselves at international level in their respective sports codes.

“The ministry encourages the recognition of excellent performance and achievement through the use of rewards that are creative, flexible and meaningful. When administered and communicated effectively, rewards and recognitions are an important part of a total compensation program. Rewards should be given for significant outstanding performance that advances the country’s international standing and should be tied up to a specific accomplishment,” he said.   

He added that rewards are most effective when they are meaningful to the individual and care should be taken in their communication and distribution so that they are not viewed as entitlement. 

Uutoni further stipulated that the monetary recognition system being implemented will only be applicable to the feats of amateur athletes, however this does not preclude government to recognise the feast of professional athletes. 

“The history of Namibia rewards system has been one reflected in controversy and inconsistency. When Johanna Benson won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London the government and the nation was caught in such euphoria that she was given a house as a token of appreciation. Since then many other Namibians have brought home similar medals but rewards given to them differed,” he said.