JOY AS MTN REWARDS UGANDA’S TOKYO OLYMPICS MEDALISTS WITH CASH PRIZES
By Joel Mugabi
MTN Uganda has today rewarded the entire team of athletes who represented the country, as well as their coaches and administrators in the just concluded 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. This is in appreciation of their outstanding performance that earned Uganda four medals at the games.
A total of 17 athletes, five coaches and three administrators who made up the Uganda Athletics contingent to the Olympics have been rewarded with a performance total sum of Shs175.5m. This includes Shs50m to Joshua Cheptegei and another Shs50m to Peruth Chemutai for winning gold medals in the 5000m and 3000m Steeple Chase races, respectively.
Cheptegei will get another Shs25m for the silver medal he bagged in the 10000m race while Jacob Kiplimo gets Shs10m for his bronze medal in the same race. The cash rewards are not only in appreciation of the individuals’ exploits but are also a celebration of the coming of age of the sport that MTN has supported over the years, through the Uganda Athletics Federation.
Since 2004, MTN Uganda has sponsored various grassroot athletics programs, the most prominent being the MTN Kampala Marathon. While handing over the cash prizes to the Tokyo Olympics medalists during a press conference held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala today, Wim Vanhelleputte, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Uganda, congratulated the athletes and the Uganda Athletics Federation for flying the Ugandan flag high and bringing home a record haul of four medals from a single Olympics event.
He reaffirmed MTN’s commitment to continue supporting the federation’s programs, through which some of this talent has been nurtured. “The performance of our athletes in Tokyo is a demonstration of growth for Uganda Athletics. The athletes achieved both as individuals and as a team comprising the coaches and support staff. So, MTN has also chosen to offer a token of appreciation not only to the medalists but also the entire athletics contingent that represented Uganda,” said Vanhelleputte.
Vanhelleputte further pledged MTN’s continued support to the sport through the Uganda Athletes Federation. “We salute the big strides the sport is making, and we remain committed to facilitating the progress and success of Ugandan Athletics through our partnership with the federation,” the MTN boss added.
Vanhelleputte also announced MTN’s contribution of another Shs100m towards the accomplishment of The Joshua Cheptegei training center in Kapchorwa. The athlete recently launched a 100-day fundraising drive to raise Shs1.7bn for his training center.
Before making his remarks, Cheptegei handed over his 5000m 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medal to Stephen Kiprotich, as the father of long distance running in the country in honor of his inspirational win that has turned around Uganda’s athletics.
Cheptegei also thanked MTN for its support towards the growth of athletics in Uganda. “MTN is leading by example in supporting athletics and other sports. I pray that other corporate companies can also do the same. I thank MTN for contributing generously towards the completion of my facility. The facility will help build the sport in the country,” Cheptegei said.
Cheptegei also inspired an emotional teary moment at the press conference when he donated his MTN silver medal cash prize of Shs25m to Kiplimo. He then handed over Kiplimo’s MTN bronze cash prize of 10m to Stephen Kissa, a fellow athlete whom he wished to honor.
In September 2020, MTN Uganda rewarded Joshua Cheptegei with Shs123, 536,000 following his exploits at the Monaco Diamond League meet, where he set a new 5000m world record of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year old world record of 12:37.35.
This February, MTN Uganda agreed terms with the world athletics champion, Cheptegei, to become the brand’s ambassador. Under the arrangement, MTN contributed Shs100m towards the Joshua Cheptegei Foundation – which is working to develop and provide a platform for young and budding athletics talent.
In the same spirit, MTN will continue to provide a stage to showcase other budding athletes through the MTN Kampala Marathon. In addition to his recent exploits, Cheptegeibalso became the first Ugandan athlete ever to win double medals at an Olympics event.
In celebration of this milestone, MTN Uganda has offered all its subscribers a week of the MTN Dabolo offer, effective tomorrow, Saturday August 14, 2021. In the promotion, customers who load a daily data bundle shall get double the volume of data they buy.
“This offer celebrates the triumph of Joshua Cheptegei the individual and our country Uganda,” concluded the MTN CEO. In line with its long-standing support for Uganda’s sports, MTN Uganda recently launched a sports dedicated website dubbed ‘MTN Sports’ to provide sports fans with comprehensive sports coverage of the very best that Ugandan local sports have to offer. Visit sports.mtn.co.ug to catch the latest from your Ugandan sports heroes and discover the most up-to-date information in the world of sports including the just concluded Tokyo Olympics.
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