By Anita IROAJANMA
Wrestlers of Bayelsa state origin who represented the country at this year’s Commonwealth Games in India, were rewarded by Governor, Timipre Sylva at a grand reception organised for the athletes in the state capital, Yenagoa last Wednesday.
The governor’s Special Assistant on Sports and Education, Dr. Daniel Igali told Saturday Vanguard Sports that the athletes were rewarded handsomely.
According to Dr. Igali, each gold medalist got N700,000 while silver and bronze medalists got N500,000 and N300.000 respectively for doing the state and the country proud. He said Governor Sylva did not forget those who could not win medals at the Games as each of them got N150,000 while the coaches’ efforts were also appreciated as they were rewarded with N800,000 each.
“The governor said the monetary reward was a way of encouraging and appreciating the wrestlers for making the state and indeed Nigeria proud. He also reasoned that the reward would serve as a source of motivation for both the medalists as well as those aspiring to become stars in future,” Igali said.
The Olympic gold medallist and former world champions added that “the governor also promised to support wrestling without apologies to other national sports federations. He also promised to donate a bus to the Nigeria Wrestling Federation without delay.”
The governor urged the technical adviser of the Wrestling Federation, Igali who incidentally is his aide, to produce a gold medalist at the next Olympics scheduled for London in 2012.