Paralympians and Olympians who won medals at the 2020 Tokyo Games could take home hundreds of thousands of rands for their achievements.
The Government News Agency reports that Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the financial incentives for medal-winning athletes and their coaches on Friday.
He was speaking at a media briefing to provide clarity about his department’s plans to provide incentives for athletes who delivered outstanding performances at the games.
On Saturday, Paralympians Anruné Weyers and Ntando Mahlangu won two gold medals for team South Africa.
The allocated amounts are as follows:
- Gold medal winners will be rewarded with R450,000 with their coach earning R120,000
- Silver medal winners will be rewarded with R220,000 with their coach earning R70,000
- Bronze medal winners will be rewarded with R100,000 with their coach winning R30,000
- World Record breaking feats will earn athletes R180,000
“We are guided by our core values of an athlete-centred and excellence-driven sports system. Our aim is to provide incentives and to applaud individual athletes and teams who continue to make our nation proud by displaying exceptional performance and attaining remarkable results.
“Rewarding of excellence, especially every four years with the primary focus on Olympics, has been a permanent feature in our sporting calendar,” said Mthethwa.
His announcement comes after initial worry that world-record-breaking Olympic swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker would not be compensated for representing the country so well.
In addition to breaking the world record, Schoenmaker scored herself silver and gold medals and prior to government’s announcement of the incentives for Olympians and Paralympians, South Africans contributed to a crowdfunding initiative to compensate Schoenmaker for her outstanding performance.
According to Mthethwa, she will be rewarded with at least R850,000 while fellow silver medal winner Bianca Buitendag is in line to receive at least R220,000 for her performance as a surfer.
The minister went on to praise the two athletes for their performance at the games and expressed hope for similar performances from the athletes currently competing at the Paralympics.
“Let me take this opportunity to shower with felicitations, both our athletes for doing exceptionally well at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Thanks to both athletes for bringing pride and honour to our country and for uplifting our spirit especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am equally confident that our Paralympians will do better and bring more medals which will be worthy of various celebrations and form part of our class of 2021 great achievers,” he concluded.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho