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Government fetes SA Games medallists

Medalists of 12th South Asian Games, including officials and players of sports organisations, pose for a photograph with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Minister for Youth and Sports Satya Narayan Mandal among others after being honoured, in Baluwatar, on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Photo: RSS.

Kathmandu, July 29, 2016: The government today felicitated the 12th South Asian Games medal winning players, coaches and national associations with Rs 40 million here at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Baluwatar.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli handed over the felicitation letters and reward money to medallists, their coaches and the national associations. Nepal had won a total of 60 medals — three gold, 23 silver and 34 bronze — in the regional games held in Guwahati and Shillong of India in February.

Judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri and wushuka Nima Gharti Magar, who won individual gold medals in the SA Games, received Rs 500,000 each, while the U-23 football team members got Rs 200,000 apiece. The National Sports Council had announced the rewards of Rs 500,000, Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 respectively to gold, silver and bronze medals winners in individual section, and Rs 200,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 apiece to the group game medallists.

Likewise, the medal winning national associations received Rs 500,000, Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 respectively, while head coaches got Rs 300,000, Rs 200,000 and Rs 100,000 respectively and assistant coaches were handed over Rs 150,000, Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000. A total of 179 players received Rs 28.8 million, while 51 head coaches and their assistants got Rs 5.45 million and 18 national associations earned Rs 4.9 million.

PM Oli congratulated all the players and also wished luck for upcoming tournaments. “Sports is a field where we can never be satisfied. There is always a room to improve. We also can do better but I know the state has not been able to provide the athletes with proper training,” said Oli. “The players have preferred foreign employment rather than staying back here because of the lack of opportunities,” he added.

PM Oli accepted that his government could not give adequate attention to sports. “I had a lot of things to do in these nine months, so I could not give proper attention to sports. But I am always with sports and athletes and I will do whatever I can from my side even if I am not in government,” he added. “There are some sports-related decisions pending and I will not leave before doing that,” said the PM.

NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista said the football team members would be provided with additional Rs 300,000 each in near future. “We had promised Rs 500,000 apiece to the football squad members for their historic achievement in the SA Games. We feted the players as per the working procedures prepared before the Games. But I assure you all that we will get the proposal decided by the cabinet and honour the football heroes with another Rs 500,000 each,” he added.