Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shahidan urges review of incentive scheme

AMATEUR Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has called for a review of the national athletes incentive scheme for the Sea Games, upon watching his diving squad emerge overall champions in the Laos Sea Games while the swimming squad surpassed their target of four gold medals.

Shahidan, who handed a personal cash incentive of RM1,000 for each gold medal won and a bonus of RM500 for each record broken, said the wide gap between the incentive scheme for the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, meant that athletes had little to look forward to in the Sea Games.

"Indonesia offer their athletes US$20,000 (RM70,000) for a Sea Games gold medal, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore offer US$10,000.

"Even Laos, a poorer country, offers US$2,000," said Shahidan.

"But we offer US$1,200. So, I think we have to look at reviewing this.

"We have to properly remunerate our athletes for their achievements because even to prepare for the Sea Games, we spend much more than that on them." NST

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