Excited by the Federal Government’s decision to reward them for winning medals for the country, Team Nigeria athletes have urged the sports ministry to also reward their coaches and officials.
Shortly after Team Nigeria increased it’s medals haul to three gold and one bronze on Saturday evening, news filtered into the team’s camp that Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, had set aside some money as reward for winning athletes. The news sparked jubilation in the camp.
But some of the athletes told The Guardian under condition of anonymity at the Kasarani Stadium during the closing ceremony, yesterday, that their coaches should also be remembered.
“I don’t want to believe that the Sports Minister is planning to reward us alone and ignore the coaches and other officials of the team,” one athlete said. “The minister is the father to every member of the team to Nairobi, and he knows the effort everyone has put in for us to arrive at this point.
“He knows that allowing the dollar rain to fall on the athletes alone will be counter productive. I am sure he won’t act that way.”
Another athlete said: “The Sports Minister wants the best for Nigerian sports. He knows the implication of rewarding only the athletes and leaving out our coaches and accompanying officials. Without the technical input from the coaches, it won’t be possible for us to win any medal. And without the managerial efforts from the accompanying officials, it won’t be possible for athletes and coaches to participate in this championship. We are pleading with the sports minister to extend the financial gesture to every member of the team,” the athlete stated.
MEANWHILE, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has given further clarifications to the announcement of cash rewards to medal winning athletes at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
The ministry said the clarification became necessary following enquiries about the NCAA status of some of the beneficiaries.
According to the Ministry, “We know about the NCAA regulations and we won’t want any of these young and promising talents, who are our hopes for the future, to breach the rules as it affects the rewards we announced. As such, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development would hold the cash rewards in trust for those affected by the NCAA regulations while the others not affected by it would be handed their rewards.”
Team Nigeria is expected to arrive in Abuja tomorrow.