President Jonathan Rewards Paralympians, Falconets

Nigeria’s Paralympians

Nigeria’s Paralympians

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan late Saturday announced cash rewards for the country’s delegation to the paralympic games as well as members of the female football team, Falconet, Under-20 footballers for their performances at the just-concluded games.

Jonathan also announced the conferment of the national honor of Member of the Order of The Niger, MON, on the six gold medal winning Paralympians.

The paralympians had Tuesday night rejected the National Institute for Sports hostel accommodation reserved for them after they touched down in Lagos from their triumphant run at the London 2012 Paralympics Games.

“You represented our country to the best of your ability, we thank you,” Jonathan told the Paralympians and footballers at a reception hosted for the two contingents.

The physically-challenged athletes won a total of 13 medals, including six gold at the London Paralympics, placing Nigeria 22nd on the medals table and third best in Africa after Tunisia and South Africa.

The Falconets battled to become world fourth best at the U-20 World Cup in Japan.

Jonathan announced the different cash gifts for the athletes at a reception held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Saturday night.

At the London Games, the Nigerian special athletes won a total of 13 medals; six gold, five silver and two bronze medals. The performance lifted the dampen spirit of Nigerians when the able bodied athletes could not win a single medal at the main London Games London.

The Team swept many medals in the powerlifting event with at least four Nigerian athletes, Yakubu Adesokan, Esther Oyema, Joy Onaolapo and Folashade Oluwafemiayo not only winning gold medals but also setting new world records.

The President announced what he called a token cash gift of N1 million for each member of the Under 20 female football team popularly known as Falconets while noting that though they did not win the championship, they gave Nigeria good representation from the qualification stages and during the tournament.

The Coaches and other officials of the football team were awarded N1.2 million each by the President.

For the Paralympians, President Jonathan announced a cash gift of N500,000 each for non medalist in the team, while Bronze medal winners will receive N2 million each.

Silver and Gold medal winners were given cash award of N3 million and N5 million respectively while the coaches and officials of the Paralympian team will also receive N2.5 million each.

In addition the gold medal winners will also be conferred with national honour of MON at the National Award ceremony scheduled for Monday.

The President who lamented the poor performance of Nigeria’s team to the 2012 London Olympics who failed to win any medal said the situation must not be repeated.

The President therefore asked the private sector and each states of the federation to join in the battle to develop potential medal winners at the next Olympic for Nigeria. The President said he will soon convene a national retreat that will address critical issues in Nigeria Sports.

AFP contributed to this report.

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