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Paralympians stranded … – Sports

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Paralympians stranded …

… as GRN drags its feet

12 August 2021 | Sports

Namibia’s Paralympians are still unsure of their departure to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, as government has not yet honoured its commitment to fully fund their participation in the international event.
A team of three athletes, three guides, a physiotherapist, doctor, the secretary-general and coach were supposed to depart for Tokyo on 5 August 2021 where they were to prepare before the start of the Paralympic Games on 24 August 2021.
Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) President Johannes Litwayi said the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) and the NPC were promised N$3 million by government for their participation in the Olympic and the Paralympic Games, with N$1.5 million of that amount earmarked for the Paralympics.
The NPC through the Sports Commission thus far only received N$650 000, which has already been spent on paying for some of its expenses towards the Games. “We received money from the Sports Commission, which we used to pay for the deputy minister’s expenses such as flight and accommodation as well as for the team’s attire and the NPC president’s flight ticket,” said Litwayi, who added that their line ministry is now using excuses of them only having three athletes thus they cannot be paid the N$1.5 million.
The NPC president also complained that the federation is always treated unfairly compared to other federations run by able-bodied persons. “You cannot compare athletes with disabilities to those that are able. Since we took office in 2015, there was never a time that the ministry gave us money without us running from office to office,” he said.
Litwayi stated that if it was not for the NamPower sponsorship that took the team to Dubai for the World Championships as well as to compete in the Athletics Namibia Grand Prix and the South African Championships, no athlete would have qualified for the Paralympic Games.
The Paralympic team’s matters come at a time when corporate Namibia has pledged over N$6 million to Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma before and after their exploits at the just ended Olympic Games.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Sport proved futile. – Nampa

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