The Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP), which rewards medallists of four major multi-sport events – SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games – has been renamed Major Games Award Programme.
The change was announced on Tuesday night (13 November) by Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) president Tan Chuan-Jin during an awards ceremony at Raffles Town Club for athletes who had won medals at this year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games.
He said, “The well-known acronym that has been accepted by the community will stay. The new name will carry more relevance in these times, and better reflect the heights and scale of the events that our athletes reach.”
Athletes gear up for busy 2019
Singapore shooter Martina Veloso, whose two-gold feat at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April earned her $60,000 ($40,000 for first individual gold, $20,000 for second) under the MAP, welcomed the name change.
She said, “I think the new title sounds more meaningful. I think it’s better.”
Like most elite athletes, Veloso is already gearing for the new year. It will be an important year for her sport, as the top shooters in the world begin their road to qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And Veloso has set her sights on making her debut appearance at the Games.
“Next year will be a busy year filled with World Cup shooting events and the Asian Shooting Championship, where they will be distributing the Olympic quotas,” the 19-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic student said. “I’m also graduating from the polytechnic in March, so between studies and shooting, there’s quite a lot of things to think about.”
53 medallists earned total of $2.57 million
On Tuesday night, the SNOC and the Tote Board Group awarded 53 medallists with a total of $2.57 million. Singapore won five golds, two silvers and two bronzes at the Commonwealth Games; and four golds, four silvers and 14 bronzes at the Asian Games.
For many of the athletes, the MAP rewards are confidence boosters as they search for further glory in 2019.
Paddler Yu Mengyu was the biggest-earning female athlete on Tuesday night with $136,000 from winning two golds and two silvers at the Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in August’s Asian Games.
The 29-year-old said in Mandarin, “The medals I won this year gave me a big confidence boost, especially since I had struggled with injuries for a couple of years. I definitely feel ready to push on for Olympic qualification next year.”
The highest-earning male athlete was swimmer Joseph Schooling, who earned about $327,000 from winning two individual golds and two team bronzes at the Jakarta Asian Games.
Part of earnings go back to sports associations
Sponsored by the Tote Board Group – comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club – medal-winning athletes receive cash in amounts based on the major Games event and medal won.
It is mandatory for athletes to give a percentage of their awards (50 per cent for the Commonwealth Games and 20 per cent for the Asian Games) to their respective national sports associations for the purposes of training and development.
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