One of the forces behind the novel Sports Performance Reward Fund, Godwin Kienka, believes the initiative will galvanise Nigerian athletes and give them the impetus to fight to be among the best at major international competitions.
Speaking at the launch of his new book, Sports in Nigeria-Going round in Circles, which came after final game of the MTN Junior Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Kienka said the Fund would motivate talented sports men and women to work hard and make necessary sacrifices for glory.
“We want to motivate them to eat, think and drink sports and we want to do this by establishing a set reward for excellence at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Africa Games.
“From the next Olympics, gold medalists will get N10 million, silver medalists will get N7.5 million, while bronze medalists will earn N5 million.
“For the Commonwealth Games, it would be N5 million, N3 million and N2 million, respectively, while the Africa Games and major world championships would see winners get N3 million, N2 million and N1 million respectively. With this, we hope parents, coaches, agents, marketers and so on would see an opportunity in sports excellence.
“We are not leaving this to politicians and ministers again so that athletes should understand it is no longer empty promises as usual, and their reward is set when they perform well.”
He said the Fund’s secondmajor objective is to attract private sector investment into sports, as it is done in other parts of the world.
He disclosed that the Fund has generated N7.1 million so far “and we hope to swell this amount before the next Olympics.”
On the book, Sports in Nigeria-Going round in Circles, Kienka said it talks about the transformative power of sports using well-known athletes, including Mikel Obi, Anthony Joshua and the Williams sisters, among a host of other athletes, to describe what sports can do if properly harnessed and developed.