Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has splashed athletes that won gold, silver and bronze medals for the state at the just concluded 20th National Sports Festival, hosted by Edo State, and the coaches that trained the athletes with N66million.
The state emerged sixth at the end of the festival, winning 31 gold medals, 30 silver medals and 42 bronze medals, the feat, which the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, described as unprecedented achievements since inception of the state.
Makinde made this known when he hosted the state contingents to the sports festival at the Executive Chambers of his office in Ibadan on Wednesday.
The state presented 230 athletes, 55 coaches, and 44 support officials and personnel, making a total of 329 contingents, from Oyo State for the sports festival. The state, however, participated in 22 events at the festival, both in male and female categories.
The breakdown of the money showed that from the N66million, a total of N38.5million went to the winners of gold, silver and bronze medals, while N27.5million went to the 55 coaches that trained the athletes.
Makinde, who stated that the money would be paid to the beneficiaries within two weeks, announced N500,000 for each gold medal, which makes it N15.5million for the 31 gold medals. He also announced additional rewards of N1million each for two gold medalists to encourage them more, making a total of N17.5million.
The governor further announced rewards of N350,000 for each of the 30 silver medals, making a total of NN10.5million. He also placed N250,000 on each of the 42 bronze medals, making a total of N10.5million. The governor also promised rewards of N500,000 for each of the 55 coaches, irrespective of whether their trainees won medal or not, making a total of N27.5million.
Speaking on rewards generally for all the contingents, Makinde stated that the Oyo State Sports Council was mandated to give certain rewards to each of the medal winners as they won the medals right in Edo State, and that the government approved allowances for all the contingents.
He promised that everything would be done to ensure that the state produces winners of world medals in the nearest future.
Speaking on behalf of the athletes, a gold medalist in tennis, Babalola Mumini, appreciated Governor Makinde for his support for sports development in the state, appealing to the governor to ensure adequate training and retraining for their coaches, and necessary logistics for the athletes.
He added that the governor should put necessary measures in place to ensure that the medalists are not poached by other states for the 21st National Sports Festival that will hold in Delta State.