Kathmandu, May 2
Ministry of Youth and Sports handed over rewards to national cricket team, U-23 football squad and bodybuilder Maheswor Maharjan here today.
The cabinet meeting held on February 8 had approved the rewards — a total of Rs 15.6 million — for the three sports disciplines that made the nation proud at international arena.
The 16 members of the national cricket team received Rs 500,000 each, while head coach Jagat Tamatta got Rs 300,000 and four other officials earned Rs 200,000 apiece. The national cricket team had won maiden series — One Day International and Twenty20 International — against the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.
Bodybuilder Maharjan received Rs 500,000 for winning gold medal in the 75kg weight category of the 10th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand in December last year. Maharjan became the first bodybuilder to win gold medal in the World Championship in Thailand.
Likewise, the youth football team members got Rs 300,000 each. The government had already distributed Rs 200,000 each to the gold medal winners of the SA Games held in Guwahati and Shillong in 2016 but the MoYS proposed an additional Rs 300,000 each for the footballers after the then minister Satya Narayan Mandal announced Rs 500,000 each to the footballers.
Nepal had defeated India in the final to win the first SA Games gold medal in 23 years. Two other gold medallists — judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri and wushuka Nima Gharti Magar — had received Rs 500,000 each.
The government has the provision of rewarding the athletes with Rs 500,000, Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 for top three medals in individual sport and Rs 200,000, Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively in team events.
Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Sunar, Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota, National Sports Council Vice-president Pitambar Timsina and Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista among others handed over the rewards to the players.
Only nine members of the cricket team and four from football squad were present at the felicitation programme.
All Nepal Football Association President Karma Tsering Sherpa and cricket head coach Tamatta received the amounts of those who could not attend the programme.