Sat, 01 Apr 2000

KONI seeks more sponsors for SEAG, Asiad

JAKARTA (JP): Following its success in gathering sponsors for the 2000 Olympic Games, the National Sports Council (KONI) is now searching for sponsors to finance the training programs for the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur and the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea.

KONI official in charge of planning and budgeting, Togi Hutagaol, said KONI was still facing difficulties in finding permanent sponsors to fund Indonesia's participation in multisports events.

"It's hard for us to find sponsors. They only want to support world-class sports like badminton," he said.

Togi said KONI has approached telecommunications company PT Excelcomindo Pratama and Standard Chartered Bank about sponsoring the training programs.

"We are still negotiating their possible cooperation. Generally, they have approved the idea. We want them to support the Olympics and the 2001 SEA Games," he said without providing any details on how much funding was required for the SEA Games training program.

Togi said the South Korean beverage manufacturer which produced and distributed the Ginseng Up energy drink here, had offered to set aside Rp 200 (US 2.6 cents) from each bottle sold to finance sports development.

"We have yet to complete negotiations with the company. Basically we're hoping for a larger amount from the company," he said, adding that the sponsorship would only last for a limited time.

Togi reiterated that KONI was still hoping the government would approve the fund-raising program Damura (the People's Fund for Sports), because the program would provide a sustainable fund for sports development.

The organizer of Damura, PT Mutiara Mandala Mahardhika (3M), has agreed to contribute 16.5 percent of its total Rp 50 billion in projected income to KONI.

KONI needs Rp 6.9 billion to finance its Olympic training program. It has received Rp 2 billion from the Gelora Senayan Management Board (BPGS) and the Rp 500 million surplus from last year's SEA Games budget. It also received a Rp 1 billion contribution from McDonald's Indonesia and $100,000 in cash and goods from PT Samsung Electronic Indonesia.

The council expects to receive another Rp 4.2 billion from the government.

KONI vice chairman Arie Sudewo said he had personally approached the director general for the state budget at the Ministry of Finance, A. Anshari Ritonga, to release the money.

"He understood our difficulty and promised to disburse the money soon. However, we must also understand the tight schedule in his office.

"I asked him to disburse half of the money, if possible, before we run out of funds in mid-April. I believe he will respond to the request," he said.

Togi said KONI would award Rp 1 billion bonuses to Olympic gold medalists, Rp 500 million to silver medalists and Rp 250 million to bronze medalists.

"The amounts are similar to those offered to medalists in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics," he said.

Arie also said women's tae kwon doin Juana Wangsa Putri and her South Korean coach, Oh Il-nam, departed on Friday to begin Juana's training.

"KONI's medical team said Juana has recovered from her back injury and was ready to start training. She is capable of competing in the Olympics," he said. (ivy/yan)