Botswana: P1 Million for Gold Medallist

| June 30, 2016

Choppies has announced incentives to athletes who will do well at the Rio Olympic Games.

Ramachandran Ottapathu, Choppies chief executive officer, announced on Monday that any athlete who wins a gold medal awould be given P1 million.

A silver medal would attract P500 000 while a bronze medallist would pocket P250 000.

Ottapath stated that any athlete who would makes it to the final would be given a bonus of P75 000.

If it wins, the relay team would share the amount.

The incentive would also apply in the Paralympics Games billed for September.

"We thought it was appropriate as part of Choppies' social responsibility to encourage our young athletes to go and participate, win and bring us pride," he said.

He said they had numerous consultations with Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), adding that in the last Olympics, there were incentives for the athletes as an encouragement for them to perform better.

Ottapathu said in 2012, there was only one athlete who finished at the podium and one finalist, adding that expectations were that athletes would fight to surpass the 2012 performance.

BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho, applauded Choppies for the initiative, saying during the London 2012 Olympic Games, they were the only establishment that was willing to give incentives to the team.

He said when Botswana hosted the Africa Youth Games in 2014, Choppies were the biggest sponsor and that time they made pronouncement early that they would be supporting the local organising committee.

"And it was only after Choppies made the pronouncement that we saw other companies coming on board and we do hope that even in this particular instance their act of benevolence and their love for Botswana sport will spur on other entities to come on board," he said.

Serufho said what Choppies offered this year was a significant improvement compared to 2012.

"Because the Olympic Games do not offer monetary price, we have had situations in the past where our athletes were tempted to compete in so many Diamond League meeting, such that by the time they go to the Olympic Games they are already banned out and end up not winning any medal," he said.

In that regard, Serufho said top athletes did not compete in many events because their focus was the Olympics because if they won medals, there would be lot of endorsement from the corporate sector.

He expressed hope that Choppies incentives would help athletes to focus on the medals.

Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate said government had responsibilities that extended to team preparations and development of facilities.

"When the private sector participates or contributes to development of sport, it does give us great pleasure and encouragement," he said.

Source: Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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