Wed, 29 Mar 2000

KONI flush with cash for Olympic training

JAKARTA (JP): The National Sports Council (KONI) has received more support for its training program for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and is now well past its initial fund target.

PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia, which is the second private institution after fast food firm McDonald's Indonesia to donate to the cause, has pledged to provide US$100,000 in cash and goods.

KONI chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar will sign a memorandum of understanding with a company representative at Hotel Mulia Senayan on Thursday evening.

KONI vice chairman Arie Sudewo told a media briefing on Tuesday that PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia would provide $70,000 in cash and another $30,000 in electronic goods, such as cellular phones, refrigerators, televisions and video recorders.

"We will use the goods to assist our athletes. We will also use the money for training and consolidation," he said, adding that the amount of contributions exceeded the Rp 6.9 billion targeted for the Olympic preparation.

KONI has received Rp 2 billion from the Gelora Senayan Management Board (BPGS) and a Rp 500 million surplus from last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games fund. The council is awaiting another Rp 4.2 billion from the government.

McDonald's Indonesia pledged Rp 1 billion for the training last month.

"The donation is very useful for us to make up the deficit in our training fund. But now the fund is more than enough. Before, we were thinking about how to give bonuses to athletes who win medals in the Olympics. Now we have a surplus," Arie, also the training director for the Olympics, 2001 SEA Games and 2002 Asian Games, said.

"The wonderful thing about the donation is that PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia did not ask for any exchange from us. We are free to decide whether we will use its logo in our Olympic apparel or banners."

The company's general manager, Lee Kang-hyun, said Samsung was one of the official sponsors for the 2000 Olympics Games in Sydney. He said that each Samsung representative in 16 countries was also supporting the respective Olympic training preparations.

Lee said he deliberated at length on the amount of the contribution.

"When McDonald's gave Rp 1 billion, I started to think. I want to give but such an amount is too great for us and I don't want this company to suffer financial loss. So I decided to give $100,000. The number is not too embarrassing and KONI also agreed on it."

He said his company was thankful to Indonesia because it had benefited from its nine years of investment in the country.

"We want to return some of the profits to the Indonesian people so we allocated some funds in our sports marketing budget," he said. (ivy)