Tourism Minister and President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Thong Khon has called upon the sports fraternity to redouble their efforts to raise the country’s profile in the region’s challenging sports environment and not to rest on past laurels.
“We need to keep moving forward and achieve better results in the next SEA Games in 2013 and be well prepared for the day Cambodia can proudly host these biennial games towards the end of this decade,” said Thong Khon at a colourful function at NagaWorld yesterday morning. Cash rewards donated by Prime Minister Hun Sen were given to the Kingdom’s four gold, 11 silver and 24 bronze medalists along with NagaWorld’s own Go For Gold incentives for gold medal winners.
The Premier’s gracious personal offer of US$3,000 for gold, $2,000 for silver and $1,000 for bronze drew no distinction between individual and team medals, with every member of a winning team also getting the same reward as an individual.
Thus, every member of vovinam’s gold winning quartet received $3,000 each. Likewise, the petanque’s doubles team also collected $3,000 a piece.
Vovinam sensation Ly Boramy, who was also a member of the winning quartet, and kempo star Sovan Kiri were the only individual gold medalists for Cambodia.
“Our honourable prime minister is of the opinion that every medal winner should be treated equally and it is his way of showing support to Cambodian sports,” added the Tourism Minister, who distributed the cash rewards yesterday on behalf of the Prime Minister.
For its part, NagaWorld presented Cambodia’s individual gold medallists with $3,000 each and the two gold medal winning teams $5,000 each. The cheques were given away by Rajesh Kumar Nair, NagaWorld Vice President of events, promotions and entertainment. Under the Go For Gold Scheme, NagaWorld also presented the NOCC with a total of $2,000 in keeping with its offer of $500 for every gold medal won by the Cambodian delegation.
The Kingdom’s medalists, regardless of whether they won individual or team events, are also to expect more cash bonanzas. In accordance with the sub-decree signed on February 22, 2008, by Hun Sen regarding incentives for sportsmen and women, the present gold medalists will get 24 million riels (US$5,967) each, while silver winners are entitled to 16 million riels, and bronzes are worth 8 million riels.
The sub-decree also envisages a reward for each coach, with the remuneration equal to that of the highest value medalist’s winnings. The assistant coach in the same category is entitled for 70 per cent of the incentive the head coach gets.
The cash prizes are administered by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Adding up all these incentives, double gold medalist Ly Boramy expectedly comes out at the top of the earners list with a total of $10,250, even before his 48 million riels windfall through the sub-decree that is yet to come through.