ABUJA – Some sports journalists on Monday in Abuja urged the Federal Government to substantially reward the Nigerian athletes who won medals at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The sports journalists told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the athletes needed incentives to further excel in other international competitions when representing the country.
NAN reports that Nigeria garnered 36 medals at the Games, made up of 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals.
A reporter with the Independent Television (ITV), Bunmi Haruna, said government should reward the athletes with money, especially the winner of the 100 metres and 200 metres gold medals, Blessing Okagbare.
“I expect the Federal Government to reward them monetarily and immortalise Okagbare.
“Giving the gold medallists N2 million, N1.5 million for silver medallists and N1 million for bronze medallists will not be a bad idea.
“Also, the coaches and technical staff should be rewarded so as to motivate them too,” Haruna said.
Another sports journalist, who is with The Telegraph newspaper, Rilwan Abdulsalam, said the athletes exhibited the winning spirit in Nigerians, and should, as such, be rewarded.
“There’s no doubt about the fact that Nigeria’s contingent at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow really made the country proud, in spite of inadequate preparations and poor funding.
“They were able to show the world the `can-do’ spirit of Nigerians in spite of limitations.
“I believe these young Nigerians can achieve the same feat at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil if they are well motivated. [eap_ad_2] “Motivation should be in the area of better welfare packages and providing the enabling environment for training, to enhance their God-given talents so as to be able to do Nigeria proud at bigger stages.
“National honours would also be of great values to them,” Abdulsalam said.
Another sports journalist, with the National Mirror, Joel Ajayi, said scholarships should be given to the athletes who are not in school, in addition to monetary rewards.
“They have done well and I think they should be monitored so that their performance can be sustained.
“There has to be a kind of programme on the ground that will keep the athletes fit for upcoming tournaments.
“But, in terms of rewards, if the government gives them money, it is not a bad idea.
“And for those who are not in school, they should be given scholarships in addition to money.
“All these things will encourage them to be patriotic when it comes to representing the country in future competitions,” Ajayi said.
NAN reports that President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to host the athletes to a reception at an unspecified date.(NAN)[eap_ad_3]