The Jamaica athletes were over the moon yesyerday on receiving announcement from Jamaica minister of Sport, Olivia Grange saying that athletes will be given their training grant for March as part of the Athletes Assistance Programme (AAP) despite the Tokyo Olympics being postponed until next year.
The initiative, which was launched earlier this month, would have given overall assistance to athletes valued between $50 and $70 million for persons who have qualified or on the verge of the qualification of the Olympic Games. The assistance granted a stipend of $20,000 per week and was expected to last for 18 weeks.
Grange said in a statement yesterday that the agreed sum would be paid to the eligible athletes for this month.
“We committed to provide stipends for the athletes while they train for the games under the AAP. We will pay the sums up to the end of March as our athletes put their training programmes on hold,” she said.
A total of 135 athletes have been deemed eligible for the programme which required them to meet the qualifying standard for their respective sports.
Speaking about the postponement; “we accept the decision and we think it’s a good move. For one thing it provides well-needed clarity for our athletes,” she said. “It is difficult to prepare for international competition in the best of times so we can imagine how difficult it has been for them during this time of uncertainty”.