21 November 2008

Passion alone is not enough

What drove Sheik Alau'ddin to two World Silat Championships gold medals in 1990 and 1994 was passion - plain and simple.

Now the Singapore Silat Federation (Persisi) chief executive director, he said: 'If you ask Jasmine (Yeong-Nathan) if money motivated her to the World Cup title, she will definitely tell you no.

"When you go into sports, it cannot be because of money."

But there are some things which have to change, according to Sheik.

If an athlete makes it to the top, but misses out on the monetary incentives because the competition is not listed in the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP), then the relevant parties have to take it upon themselves to see that the athlete is fairly rewarded.

Said Sheik, who did not receive any monetary incentives when he twice became world champion: "The point I'm trying to make is that an athlete cannot go into a sport expecting financial rewards.

"But when they make it, we have to ensure that he or she gets the deserving reward.

"Hopefully, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) can come in. If not, the national sports associations (NSAs) should look into it.

Sheik feels that the best solution is for the SSC and NSAs to sit down and discuss the issue at length.

He added: "It's about time we come up with a blueprint and list out the other competitions that deserve to be included in MAP.

"But we have to be careful about the world champion tag.

"How many countries take part in it, what is the standard of competition, and is there prize money involved?

"The monetary reward has to be on a case-by-case basis, not a common figure across the board. Then, it will be fair."

Sourced from http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/sports/story/0,4136,184266,00.html

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