Jakarta (ANTARAnews) - National Sports Committee (KONI) Chairwoman Rita Subowo said Indonesia plans to send 320 athletes to the SEA Games in Laos in December 2009.
"We are likely to send 320 athletes to the SEA Games in Laos this coming December. We will face tight competition because Vietnam and host Laos will send 800 athletes," Subowo said here on Tuesday.
Rita disclosed KONI`s plan when receiving Rp500 million in cash to pay athletes` bonuses from the president of the board of directors of the Center Management of the Bung Karno Sports Stadium in Senayan, Jakarta.
With 320 athletes participating in the SEA Games, Indonesia should strive to improve its achievements in the SEA Games because Indonesia only ranked fourth in the 2007 SEA Games in Nakhon Naratchima Thailand, Rita said.
"We continue maximizing the quantity and quality of athletes to be sent as well as the amount of assistance funds from the government," she said.
Talking about the welfare of athletes, Rita said athletes in foreign countries receive financial assistance from the government prior to their "retirement" as athletes. For example, they received a subsidy of US$1,500 for grabbing a gold medal, US$1,000 for wining silver and US$750 for bronze.
Rita expressed appreciation for funds contributed by the president r of the board of directors of the Center Management of the Bung Karno Sports Stadium, Bambang Prajitno, on Monday.
It was proof of the government`s attention to athletes, she said.
"We should show a high spirit any time we compete in an international event. The important point is that we should focus on the preparation of our athletes. The funds from the management of the Bung Karno Sports Stadium constitute a big contribution for athletes who are scattered everywhere," she added.