Wed, 23 Feb 2000

Donation beefs up KONI's Olympic training fund

JAKARTA (JP): Fast food firm McDonald's Indonesia has pledged Rp 1 billion (US$137,000) toward the National Sports Council's (KONI) training of athletes for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney in September.

KONI chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar signed a memorandum of understanding with McDonald's Indonesia president director Bambang N. Rachmadi at the latter's Sarinah outlet in Central Jakarta on Tuesday.

Bambang said in his speech that the donation, the bulk of which is expected to be derived from a portion of profits, was his initiative although McDonald's Corp. is the official restaurant for the quadrennial event which begins on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 1.

"We will save Rp 100 from each transaction in our 70 outlets nationwide starting today until August. It is purely a case of giving away some of our profit because we aren't increasing the price of food items," said Bambang, who is also chairman of the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi).

The launch of the sponsorship drive coincided with the ninth anniversary of the establishment of the franchise in Indonesia.

Bambang ensured a contribution of Rp 1 billion regardless of funds accumulated from sales.

"I guarantee that in August KONI will receive a check of Rp 1 billion from McDonald's Indonesia," Bambang said to the applause of KONI officials.

KONI needs Rp 6.9 billion to prepare athletes to compete in the Olympics. So far, it only has a donation of Rp 2 billion from the Gelora Senayan Management Board (BPGS) and Rp 500 million surplus from last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games fund.

The fund-raising program will be audited by public auditor Ernst & Young and KONI's internal auditor.

"The auditing mechanism will not be complicated because each month we will submit transaction counts from our outlets to be verified by Ernst & Young, KONI's internal auditor and each store manager," Bambang said.

Wismoyo expressed hope that businesspeople would follow Bambang's example in helping sports development in the country.

"After today's signing, KONI will continue to approach businesspeople to enter into business with us. Maybe we will invite them to have lunch and discuss the possibility of working together to raise funds," he said.

"We are still negotiating with Kompas daily and ABN-Amro bank."

Wismoyo told athletes not to disappoint sponsors which have helped them by donating part of their profits.

"I hope athletes can learn something from this. What you will fight for in the Olympics is because of the public's participation in the fund-raising program."

KONI's official in charge of the business and sports industry, Fritz E. Simanjuntak, said the McDonald's logo would be worn on the team's uniforms and shirts.

"They will also be involved in McDonald's promotions as stated in the memorandum of understanding," he said.

Fritz said the company would donate any amount of funds in excess of Rp 1 billion.

The signing ceremony was attended by athletes in training for the Olympics, former athletes and officials from various sports organizations.

McDonald's Indonesia will also send a young man and young women, aged between 16 and 18, to join the International Youth Camp in Sydney from Sept. 12 to Oct. 4. (yan)