A Government Procedure was ascertained beforehand that only a Gold Medal from the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games would earn the victorious participants financial rewards.
The winner of a Gold Medal in the Commonwealth Games would receive $50,000 and a Gold Medal from the Olympic Games would receive $100,000.
However this week has indicated there is also a reward for attaining a Silver Medal.
With the distribution of the Government Gift to our successful athletes from the recent Commonwealth Games - $20,000 to both Sanele Mao and Feagaiga Stowers, $10,000 and for Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork – there was also a $4,000 reward in acknowledgement of the efforts of Don Opeloge, Lauititi Lui and Ato Faoagali who were all Silver Medallists in their respective sports.
The resolution to award successful participants from these games is not only an appropriate decision but also a very important one which I’m certain our young athletes appreciate. Although the agreed $50,000 was not given to our Gold Medallist, the monetary gift of $20,000 is still a significant amount.
Nonetheless, my emphasis is on the financial reward for the Silver Medallists.
I would like to appeal to the Government to continue this practice of rewarding our medallist from the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, regardless of the colour of their medals.
Forget the past Games in the previous years, but in moving forward to the future I believe that any one of the three medals received in the Olympic Games – Gold, Silver or Bronze – has a noticeable more distinguished place from medals received in any other International Games, including the Commonwealth Games.
The success of our athlete in attaining any medals from the Olympic Games should also be acknowledged in similar fashion as those in the Commonwealth Games.
This is not to criticise or condemn the Government’s decisions but to entreat them to ensure there should be standardized rules in place for financial rewards given to our athletes in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
I would like to congratulate all our athletes who participated in the Commonwealth Games.
Thank you for your hard work and efforts. It is my hope and belief that all victorious athletes in the future will continue to receive substantial monetary gift now that Totalisator Agency Board is accumulating money from Bingos and other similar games for the benefit and improvement of all Sports and Athletes in Samoa.