PNG to pay Gold Medal winners at 2015 Pacific Games

GOLD medallists at the Pacific Games in July will receive K20,000 bonuses from the Government.

Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko said yesterday the bonuses were part of K5.7 million set aside for gold winning performances as a morale booster for Team PNG.

The government incentive was approved last week. Individual gold medal winners will receive K20,000.

Players in gold-winning team sports will also receive K20,000 each.

Team PNG gold prospects include Commonwealth gold weightlifters Steven Kari and Dika Toua and sprinter Toea Wisil.

Team PNG Chef de Mission Richard Kassman said yesterday: "Our goal at the Pacific Games is for each athlete to walk away with Gold.

"The incentive from the Government is rare and we hope the announcement will help athletes focus on their performance at the Games."

PNG Olympic Committee president Sir John Dawinincura shared the same sentiments, saying funding received would push each athlete individually regardless of sport to focus their energy in their individual sport.

"Each athlete must focus on that Gold medal that is our primary goal at the games." Mr Tkatchenko said he hoped the money would be put to good use by the athletes.

"The incentive is a sign that our Government is looking at revolutionising sport in the country. Do not get the money and spend it all away, develop your skills and talent in your sport to continue to lift the profile of the country."

"Your Government will recognise you for your efforts in the Games and we hope each athlete walks away with the Gold medal around their necks," Mr Tkatchenko said.

All bonuses would be paid individually through the PNG Olympic Committee after the Games.

The Pacific Games will be held in Port Moresby from July 4 to 18.

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