Jamaica’s Olympic qualifiers to get cash boost come March 1.
Jamaican athletes preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics got some welcome news on Sunday night.
Come March 1, and continuing to mid-July, the government through an initiative via the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, athletes who have qualified or are on the brink of qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, will receive J$20,000 per week towards their preparation, to be disbursed on a monthly basis.
The cash is to assist the athletes to offset costs relating to coaching and training, transportation, physiotherapy and massage therapy, nutrition, and other associated needs. In addition, the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan (JAIP) is available to assist with medical treatments that the athletes may require.
Minister Olivia Grange made the announcement on Sunday evening at the unveiling of the statue in honour of four-time Olympian and two-time world-record holder Asafa Powell at Independence Park in Kingston.
However, there is a catch.
“The athletes selected to benefit from this programme 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),” Minister Grange said.
She said her ministry was in the process of finalising the details of the programme in consultation with the respective national sports federations.
“The success of this programme will be dependent on input and information provided by the national sports governing bodies and so look forward to their full cooperation in this regard,” he said.
“We already know that within gymnastics and aquatics, there are athletes that have achieved the qualifying standard and, of course, our track and field athletes will also be on show in Tokyo, but we continue to cheer on and give support to our hopefuls in boxing, karate, canoeing, rugby, table tennis and rowing.”
Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion – sports