19 Jul 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JUL (NAMPA) Jonas Junius Jonas and Helalia Johannes were on Wednesday rewarded for their 2018 Commonwealth Gold Medal victories in Australia.
The two athletes were each given N.dollars 80 000 by the Namibia Sports Commission, while their coaches, Robert Kaxuxuena and Patrick Kasheela, each received N.dollars 35 000.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Windhoek, Johannes said she was grateful to the government for the reward which she hoped would encourage other young and upcoming athletes to take sports serious.
This reward will help me a lot in terms of buying equipment needed for me to perform better. It will also help me with my dietary needs. I will also help my fellow athletes and invest in some business so that I am taken care of after my career, she said.
Johannes said even though she waited for such a long time, she always knew she would be rewarded, which is the reason she has been doing well this year, winning three races in South Africa and setting a new national 10 kilometre record in Namibia.
Johannes was the only member of those rewarded to attend the ceremony, with the others failed to attend due to other commitments.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Sports Commission, through its Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya said the rewards for the athletes should not be mistaken to be as a result of the recently approved Reward Policy by Cabinet.
Even though the reward policy was approved, it is still not budgeted for. What we gave today came through our line ministry, using the criteria of the reward policy, Mwiya said.
He added that they are still waiting for treasury to make budget provisions, which will allow them to reward all the athletes who win medals at various competitions accordingly.
Government in 2018 approved the reward policy, which is expected to reward Namibian athletes who win medals at international competitions such as the Olympic Games, All Africa Games, World Championships and Africa and World Cup tournaments.