Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Several sports figures received awards from the government on the occasion of National Sports Day here on Friday.

Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng presented the awards to those who had made remarkable achievements and given great services to the nation and state.

This was the first presentation of awards on National Sports Day by the government in the form of gold medals to former figures who have made achievements in the sports fields and achieved success in their careers after retiring from sports.

"The awards are important as inspiration for athletes that success can be used as a capital for gaining another success in their life," the minister said in his speech at the anniversary that was also attended by Vice President Boediono.

Other awards given to the former athletes, coaches, teachers and referees who have made remarkable achievements include houses, retirement allowance and development financial assistance.

"We need to ensure the future of our athletes so that parents will not hesitate to support their children to pursue a careers in sports," he said.

Andi hoped with the annual retirement allowance presentation "there will be no more sad stories about former athletes (who had once made outstanding achievements).

This year the government distributes 75 houses for athletes who still had no homes of their own each worth Rp125 million.

The retirement allowance this year meanwhile was presented to 65 former athletes who had made outstanding achievements during their careers to the tune of Rp30 million each.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2011