Cash prizes for sportspersons pathetic: MTC

13 Aug 2013 13:40
WINDHOEK, 13 AUG (NAMPA) - The current cash prizes given to Namibia’s top sportsmen and women are pathetic compared to the efforts these men and women put into their careers all year, the leading mobile phone service provider said on Tuesday.
“If we are to decide to reward them, then we should reward them well or not at all,” said Tim Ekandjo, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, in a media statement issued on Tuesday.
“Our Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year currently receive N.dollars 15 000 as prize monies, which are ridiculous. These kind of accolades deserves at least N.dollars 100 000 each, because it will than encourage others to aspire to be winners next year,” he stressed.
Ekandjo said the cash prizes handed over to the various winners at the annual MTC/Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Sports’ Awards need extreme improvement, as this does not reflect the country’s sincere appreciation of its sports personalities.
The prize monies in the other categories are: Sports Achiever of the Year (N.dollars 20 000), Disabled Sportsman and Disabled Sportswoman of the Year (N.dollars 15 000 each), and Junior Sportsman and Junior Sportswoman of the Year (N.dollars 10 000 each).
The Most Improved Sportsperson, Referee/Umpire of the Year, Administrator of the Year, and Coach of the Year do not receive cash prizes, only vouchers.
“These outstanding individuals need to be encouraged, because we are aware that most people volunteer their services for free to sports because of a lack of funds, and therefore to thank them in this manner shows that we don’t appreciate their gestures,” he said.
Ekandjo then made a fervent appeal to corporates, sport bodies and the government to seriously consider upping the purse of Namibia’s athletes at this year’s MTC/NSC Sports’ Awards.
According to him, the sports’ awards ceremony is a national event, where sportsmen and women are recognised for their achievements, and therefore the country at large need to embrace this day, by digging deep into their pockets and reward the sports stars handsomely.
“This is not an MTC event, this is a national event and it should therefore be reflective of our national identity and aspirations. I also encourage the organisers to incorporate the awards’ ceremony for persons who are differently abled so that we have one big celebration instead of two separate events,” he stressed.