The National, Monday August 11th, 2014
THE Government honoured its commitment to national athletes at the Commonwealth Games by paying K200,000 to the two gold medallists on Saturday.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill gave the K100,000 cheques to weightlifters Dika Toua and Steven Kari in the presence of Team PNG athletes and officials, Minister for Sports and 2015 Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko, PNG Olympic Committee president Sir John Dawnincura and PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili Jr.
PNG was placed 16th out of more than 70 countries which took part in Glasgow, Scotland.
O’Neill reiterated the Government’s commitment to developing sports in the country.
The money was from the National Gaming and Control Board’s community incentive programme.
“The people of this nation are proud of you especially when it has not been easy for both of you,” he said.
“A lot of sacrifice and commitment you have put in and I want to say the Government is a strong supporter of sports.”
O’Neill said the 2015 Pacific Games would be an opportunity for athletes to display “what we can do to win more medals” here.
He said the Government would provide more cash incentives for athletes next year.
“The Government will provide incentives next year but not the same amount – a reasonable package we will work on,” O’Neill said.
Kari thanked O’Neill for prioritising sports and realising an athlete’s dream.
Toua said the Government’s commitment was a bonus to their performance at the Commonwealth Games.