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Makwala, Montsho, Thebe take home P600,000

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
The Commonwealth Games athletics team was rewarded handsomely PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
After persistent sowing, Team Botswana’s senior citizens, Isaac Makwala and Amantle Montsho will take home a combined P480,000 after leading the way at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The 400m runners won gold in their individual races, which earned them a cool P100, 000 from the government’s athlete incentive scheme.

Baboloki Thebe was the second highest earner after Makwala, pocketing P220, 000.

Makwala received a further P100,000 after anchoring the men’s 4x400m relay to gold, and another P50,000 from Debswana for his gold in the 400m. Debswana further gave the athlete P25,000 after the 4x400m team’s achievement. This takes Makwala’s earnings in under three minutes of running to P275,000, making him the richest of the Gold Coast crew.

Montsho’s bank account will bulge by P100,000 after her gold in the 400m and a further P50,000 for powering the 4x400m women’s relay team to bronze, both cash prizes coming from the government’s athletes incentive.

From Debswana, Montsho’s cheque bears P55,000; with P40,000 coming from winning gold in the 200m and P15,000 for her role in the relay team. Her combined earnings are P205,000.

Rising Thebe is the second biggest earner with P175,000 from the athletes incentive, and P45,000 from Debswana to push his pay cheque to a handsome P220,000.

Women’s relay team members will each pocket P50,000 for finishing third while the men’s team get P100,000 each for the gold.

In addition, Debswana paid P25, 000 to each member of the men’s

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team and P15,000 for the women’s team.

Coaches, Mogomotsi Otsetswe and Justice Dipeba will each pocket P10, 000 from the diamond mining company. The coaches are also catered for under the government incentive package, with each receiving P10,000. The other finalists get a consolation prize of P5, 000 each.

Botswana National Sport Commission chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng told Mmegi Sport that there is no reward for other team members who did not win medals at the Commonwealth Games.

“We do not reward losers but winners. We motivate performance. If we were to give those who did not win anything some incentives, we would be setting a bad precedent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Reikeletseng said the current incentive policy, which was introduced in 2012, is under review.

Former secretary general of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), Patrick Moesi said as the incentives policy is being reviewed, focus should be on coaches’ incentives. He said the amount that they are getting at the moment is too low.

“I am not saying it should be equal to what athletes are getting, but should be better.

These coaches are not only working with the medallist, but other many athletes. They sacrifice a lot for our athletes and it is only fair to give them something better,” he said.



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