Sports

Sports administrators must compensate athletes: Ekongo

Summary

MTC Manager for Corporate Affairs and Sponsorship, John Ekongo on Thursday said the time has come for sports administrators to realise that athletes need to be compensated for what they do.Ekongo said this at the sending-off ceremony of the national me…

MTC Manager for Corporate Affairs and Sponsorship, John Ekongo on Thursday said the time has come for sports administrators to realise that athletes need to be compensated for what they do.

Ekongo said this at the sending-off ceremony of the national men’s and women’s outdoor hockey teams to Accra, Ghana where they will compete in the Hockey Africa Cup of Nations from 17-23 January.

He said passion alone is not enough when athletes are qualifying for continental or world championships where they fly their national flag high, stressing that: “It’s about time that we start paying athletes for what they do. You find the athletes qualifying to various championships but are in the end, not well compensated for their hard work.”

He said for a nation of over two million people, the national senior male and female teams have gone way beyond what nations with bigger populations have failed to do and that is by qualifying for the African Nations Cup.

“It would have been good to see government officials at the sending off as these athletes will be representing the country while at the African Cup, but I call on the athletes to be good ambassadors during your stay in Ghana,” Ekongo said.

Team captain of the men’s senior national team Tarry Butcher said hockey as a sport is growing in the world and their performance at the African Nations Cup might spark interest in future hockey players.

“Our team is growing to the level of those top hockey nations in Africa, and we are going to this competition to give it our best with pride and honour, while in the field of play,” said Butcher.

President of the Namibia Hockey Union Reagon Graig said MTC’s investment in hockey has transformed the sport.

“We now have several young Namibians realising their dreams as athletes and representing their country at the highest level,” said Graig who called on athletes to be good ambassadors for the country while at the championships.

This will be the 11th edition of the competition in the men’s category while for the female category it will be the eighth.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency