Minister of Sport Olivia Grange has assured the Government will be providing financial assistance to athletes in their preparation for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, this summer.
“With the permission and support of the Prime Minister, beginning on March 1, and continuing into mid-July, athletes who have qualified or are on the brink of qualification… will receive $20,000 per week towards their preparation, to be disbursed on a monthly basis,” she said.
“This support will assist them to offset costs relating to coaching and training, transportation, physiotherapy and massage therapy, nutrition and other special needs,” Grange said.
She noted that athletes can also access the Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan to assist with medical treatment if needed.
Minister Grange was addressing the ceremony for the unveiling of the statue of Asafa Powell at the National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday (Feb. 9).
She said that the financial aid is part of a long-term programme of support for athletes in order to ensure their well-being.
She informed that to benefit, athletes must be certified by the local governing body for the sporting discipline to which they belong, as well as by the National Olympic Committee and the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).
Grange said that details of the programme are being finalised in consultation with the respective national sports federations. Former president of the JOA, Mike Fennell will lead the team that will be responsible for this initiative.
The unveiling of Powell’s statue, which was sculpted by Basil Watson, was one of several events scheduled for Reggae Month under the theme ‘Come Ketch de Riddim’.
The sculpture is the last of four monuments of outstanding Jamaican athletes commissioned by the Ministry under the ‘Jamaica 55’ Legacy Programme.
Statues of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown have been completed and installed.