Northern Marianas Sports Association rewarded weightlifter Angel San Nicolas with a $500 incentive for winning a bronze medal in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu.
NMSA president Michael White handed over the check to San Nicolas in front of the representatives of local sports federations that attended the group’s monthly meeting last night at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
“I would like to thank NMSA for this incentive. To be honest, I am more honored with the recognition than the monetary award. Through this recognition, I will be able to further promote weightlifting in the CNMI and encourage others to try the sport,” said San Nicolas, who was named 2017 NMSA Male Athlete of the Year last month.
The 24-year-old said he will use the money for supplements, rehab, and conditioning since he is training and hoping to represent the CNMI anew in the 2018 Micronesian Games in Yap.
“The sport helped me get this incentive so I am going to give it back to the sport by preparing and making myself a better athlete,” he added.
San Nicolas’ incentive is expected to be just the start of monetary rewards that NMSA will give to deserving athletes.
“We have a committee working on this (awarding of incentives to athletes winning medals for the CNMI). It is anticipated that we will offer these incentives to medal winners following each Micro Games and Pacific Games. Hopefully, the board will adopt a policy which will apply to all future competitions, so that we don’t have to do it on a piecemeal basis after each Games,” said White, who first announced the group’s plan to award incentives during the 2017 NMSA Annual Sports Banquet late last month.
“I don’t want to speculate as to what the committee will recommend to the board, or as to what the board will adopt, but if I had to offer a personal guess, I would guess that the incentives will be greater for medal winners at the Pacific Games. The committee will make a recommendation as to the amounts to be awarded. One other thing that the committee will need to consider is how to award incentives in team sports,” he added.
Meanwhile, White reiterated to NMSA-member federations sending athletes to Yap the need to submit a monthly report about their preparations for the quadrennial event. During last night’s meeting, only the weightlifting association headed by John Davis turned in a copy of their report.
The NMSA president warned federations that failure to submit monthly reports may prevent athletes/teams from competing in Yap. Besides weightlifting, other sports that have committed to send delegates to this year’s Micro Games are basketball, baseball, beach and indoor volleyball, table tennis, canoe, swimming, athletics, and spearfishing, whose late inclusion on Team CNMI was just announced last night.