Olympians to get stipend - $20,000-per-week payment to start next month
Jamaican athletes chasing qualification for major global games are set to receive financial backing from the Government, starting this year.
Sports Minister Olivia Grange said that her administration, beginning next month, will provide $20,000 per week (to be paid monthly) to athletes who have qualified or who are on the verge of advancing to the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan, this summer. She made the announcement on Sunday during the unveiling ceremony for the statue of Asafa Powell at Independence Park.
Grange said that the funds will go towards expenses that will assist in their preparations for the summer games, including coaching, training, physiotherapy, and other requirements. She said that the measure was critical in ensuring that the athletes had the required resources in order for them to have the best chance of success in their various disciplines.
“It’s extremely important to provide support for our athletes, particularly financial support in training and preparing for the Olympics and the Paralympics, and other such competitions,” she told STAR Sports. “They need financial support. It is important that we provide that kind of support and we are committed to doing so.”
Among the requirements to be eligible for the grant, Grange said that athletes must be accredited by the local governing body of the sporting discipline to which they belong.
She also added that the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan will be available to aid those who are in need of medical treatment. While the details of the plan are to be finalised, she announced that experienced administrator Mike Fennell has been appointed to oversee the initiative.
Jamaica have already booked spots at the Tokyo games with Danusia Francis in gymnastics and Alia Atkinson in swimming. The country is aiming for a more diverse field of disciplines to be represented this summer, chasing places in diving, rowing, women’s cycling, skateboarding, karate, judo, rugby (men and women), wrestling and badminton.