THE Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) has announced the names of athletes, who have been awarded the scholarships to enhance their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
BY HENRY MHARA
The seven athletes are long-distance runners, Rutendo Nyahora and Pardon Ndlovu, sprinter, Ngonidzashe Makusha, equestrian, Camilla Kruger, rowers, Daniela du Toit and Stephen Cox and swimmer Peter Wetzlar.
ZOC said the scholarship, worth $252 000, funded by Olympic Solidarity, an arm of the International Olympic Committee, will assist the athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan, from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
“The Olympic scholarship programme offers national Olympic committees (NOC) the possibility to obtain financial and technical assistance for a limited number of elite athletes, who are training, and attempting to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.The programme aims to promote universal representation at the Olympic Games, and consequently candidates from the NOCs that have traditionally sent small delegations to the Olympic Games are usually prioritised,” ZOC said.
“Funds are distributed and accounted for quarterly, with athletes benefiting from items such as training facilities, specialised coaches, regular medical and scientific assistance, accident and insurance costs, pocket money and a fixed subsidy to offset travel costs to participate in the required international Olympic qualification competitions.”
ZOC called for applications for the scholarships from disciplines on the Summer Olympic programme in April this year and 34 responses were received from six national associations.
Thereafter, the ZOC technical commission vetted the list, which they trimmed to 11 before submitting it to Olympic Solidarity for the final selection process.
ZOC said the criteria for the selected athletes considers among other things whether the athlete is practising an individual sport included on the Olympic programme, has a technically sound level of performance capable of qualifying for the Games, has limited access to alternative means of paying for the preparation such that the scholarship would make a significant difference to their training and is free from any doping offence.
“ZOC was delighted to receive the news of this athlete support grant, which will provide assistance to athletes over a three-year period and in the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. ZOC greatly appreciates the support and confidence that Olympic Solidarity and the International Federations have placed in the prospective Zimbabwean athletes.”
Scholarships awarded to athletes, who fail to qualify for the Games will be withdrawn, as of the date of their final qualification opportunity.
It can also be cancelled due to reasons such as doping offences and a medical reason that prevents the athlete from training.