Dear Editor – I refer to Messrs Sasako’s and Taloikwai’s respective letters of Friday 17th July, in Sun No. 2036 and Star No. 5927.
I support the view that to give cash bonuses to our medalists, at least for the gold medalists, is not a big ask.
The country has provided zero to sub-standard training facilities for them but proudly watched our flag being hoisted on TV, almost thirty times, whenever they won a medal.
Our athletes have sacrificed all for the glory of their nation. Their medal haul was a real feat in our sporting history. What more could President JFK ask of them, eh Sasako.
Certainly huge taxpayers money was spent to send Team Solomon to and from Port Moresby but that is the government’s obligation as member of the Pacific Games Charter anyway. Parliament had budgeted for it so it was transparent and worthwhile unlike a windfall $3.7 claim requiring virement.
In any case, many of our reps, from Head of Mission down, are PAYE taxpayers themselves and not free riders like our fifty tax-free MP’s.
President JFK’s famous quote should instead read as:-
“Ask not what the medalists can do for the country but what the country can do for them.”
Finally, the government should seriously consider banning or not funding future so-called ‘Tourist Squads’. Those who just form months or weeks before to train in order to get NOCSI’s nod. They are the real show. They and we all know who they are.
Geoff Ford Samuel