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Makwala fumes, Gov't to reward athletes

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Makwala.PIC: MONIRUL BHUIYAN
Following Isaac Makwala's outburst on social media about lack of material support after their heroics at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia, the government has promised incentives for the winning athletes and team members.

Through his Facebook page yesterday morning, Makwala who two days earlier had won the Commonwealth gold medal in 400m, stated that while other countries took good care of their athletes, Botswana fails to even grant free land to the champions.

“Eish, this countries are serious ka their athletes and value them you know (Other countries value their athletes). And Botswana, welcome dinner and go to your home. Ao Jehofa, what have we done se se phoso. I know true hurts but this is very true. Even setsha fela e seng madi fela. Just a land! Common Bots. (In Botswana there is only the welcome dinner and you go home. What crime have we committed to deserve this. I know the truth hurts. Why can't we be given land at least?),”  Makwala quizzed.

Contacted for comment, the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate said there were not aware of Makwala's outbursts.

“Some issues are better dealt with

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in person. Despite everything else, as a ministry we want to reward our athletes for their performances,” he said. He said athletes would be rewarded according to the government's incentive package policy.  Gold medal winners will receive P100, 000 while silver medallists get P75,000 and P50,000 for bronze.

The prize money for setting the games record is P30, 000. Winning coaches pocket P10, 000 while silver attracts P7,500. Personal trainers or assistant coach get P7, 500 for gold and P5, 000 for silver. For relay teams, each winning member pockets P100, 000.

Meanwhile, acting Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) chief executive officer, Bobby Gaseitsiwe said the incentive policy, introduced in 2012 and is being reviewed. He said National Sporting Association (NSA) would have an input into the new policy.

“It is a long process and we cannot expect it to be finalised anytime soon. As BNSC, we deal with the dynamics and the ministry tackles the figures,” he said.



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