First ever allowance for ‘One Team Solomon’ members
BY ROMULUS HUTA
MEMBERS of ‘One Team Solomon’ to next month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will receive allowances totaling up to more than $50,000.
‘One Team Solomon’ Chef de Mission (CdM) Michael Chan confirmed that all athletes and officials will each receive equal amounts of $2,285.47 for their participation in the Games.
In a briefing for the Solomon Islands contingent yesterday at the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) conference room, Mr Chan said this is first time ever for athletes and officials to be given such a treatment by the national governing Olympic body.
In the past, nothing like that has ever happened, especially to have come from NOCSI, according to Chan.
“Players often receive allowances in past trips but that don’t actually come from NOCSI but they are given by their various respective national federations,” he said.
A total of 14 athletes across five sports and 11 officials will represent Solomon Islands in the Games.
The five sports are athletics (four athletes), boxing (one athlete), table tennis (two athletes), swimming (two athletes) and weightlifting (three athletes).
Chan said each athlete and official will receive $500 of their allocated allowances a day or two prior to their departure for Australia on Sunday.
The remaining $1,785.47 (converted to Australian Dollar – AUD$300) will be paid out upon arrival in Gold Coast.
“The amounts could be small. But I must urge athletes and officials to appreciate the commitment shown by the team management.
“The $500 that will be given prior to departure is to ensure team members meet immediate needs before leaving for Australia.
“Some might want to use that money to give to their families before leaving. That serves one of the purposes of the first part to be paid out prior to departure.
“One Team Solomon members are our ambassadors to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and they deserve something in that regard,” Chan explained.
“Athletes might want to purchase souvenirs for their loved ones or family members back home upon their return from the Games.
“As a sport official since the past two decades, it is heartening to see athletes went to take part in overseas games and competitions with nothing in their pockets. As I reflected back, it’s a sad thing but that’s the sad truth.
“We hope the small amount of allowances which will be paid to athletes will make some difference,” he expressed.
As the Chef de Mission for Gold Coast, Chan stressed that one of his aims is to make ‘One Team Solomon’ operate on a new standard.
“It’s a standard which aims to motivate our athletes to perform to their best in international outings.”
The money that will be used to source the allowances is part of the $70,000 donated by South Pacific Oil yesterday, unveiling the locally-owned oil company as ‘One Team Solomon’ official sponsor for Gold Coast 2018.
South Pacific Oil Chief Executive Carson Korawa handed over the donation to Chan, witnessed by athletes and officials in a ceremony at the NOCSI office.
With the allowances totaling more than $50,000, the remaining part of that donated funds will be used to meet other necessities during the course of the Games in Gold Coast.
“The remaining part of the money is to cater for emergency and miscellaneous expenses while in Australia. Some will also go toward sporting equipment purchase for the athletes’ competitions.”
Chan assured members of the general public that the money given is being put to good use for the sake of the athletes’ welfare at the games.
“We will make sure that the spending of the donated funds is done in a transparent manner.”
The Solomon Islands contingent will leave for Gold Coast Sunday afternoon.
The Games will run from April 4 to 15.