• Say 6 out 30 earn N8,000 stipends
SPECIAL athletes in Kwara State have appealed to the state government to provide a special budgetary allocation for special sports and athletes in the state.
In an appeal made in Ilorin on Wednesday, the spokesperson of the group, Mr Felix Oyadinrin, also urged the state government to put some of the athletes into mainstream civil service employment as promised them.
Oyadinrin, who said they had represented the state in sports competitions as
ambassadors with laurels to show, said that permanent employment would boost their morale and encourage others to represent the state in sports competition.
He lamented that the state government had stopped allowance to some of the athletes under the Kwara Bridge Empowerment Scheme (KWABES) for the past 15 months, saying that efforts to meet authority concerned and yielded no results.
“From 2006 we had won 90 per cent of medals by the state. The only medal, which is gold, won in 2012 was by a special athlete in table tennis.
“We love our state and we want to continue to represent it even when other states are paying our colleagues N60,000 to N100,000 monthly, as against our own N8,000.
He said only six of them out of more than 30 of them are being paid the N8,000 stipends.
Reacting to the issue, the state Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr Kale Ayo, said the state government’s decision to suspend the KWABES programme affected some of the athletes.
He added that since the state government reduced the state’s Sports Council subventions, some of the athletes cannot be catered for again.