FINA, the world’s aquatic governing body, has revealed plans to disseminate over $6 million USD in an effort to assets athletes competing in next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The funds will be dispersed across 3 distinctive programs, aimed at supporting athletes who ‘continue to endure hardships related to their training and competitive opportunities due to the [coronavirus] pandemic.’
The organization explains that it has enabled a ‘high level of flexibility’ in the utilization of its financial support due to travel restrictions hindering national federation and continental organization plans, but the emphasis remains on direct assistance to athletes.
“The primary objective of this programme is to provide direct assistance to athletes preparing to compete in Tokyo. FINA recognises the importance of support to all athletes, including elite athletes with medal prospects, as well as less experienced athletes from developing countries trying to attain Olympic qualifying standards,” said FINA President Julio Maglione.
The 3 programs are as follows:
- $4 million USD in grants for a minimum of 160 National Federations to provide support to athlete training, competition, and living expenses.
- $460,000 USD in grants to the five Continental Organisations to enable supplemental resources to athletes.
- $2 million USD to athletes selected to participate in the FINA Scholarship Programme, either at FINA Training Centres or at National Federation training facilities.
Additionally, the FINA Scholarship Programme will include 100 athletes from National Federations that do not currently have athletes with Olympic Qualifying Standards – 80 swimmers and 20 divers – and enable intensive training at FINA Training Centres in Senegal, Thailand, Russia, and the United States. Each athlete is eligible for up to $2000 USD monthly for living and training expenses, with world-class coaches in outstanding facilities.
“FINA places great confidence and trust in the National Federations and Continental Organisations to develop creative and effective solutions for athletes who will compete in Tokyo. We have developed a simple and direct process for athletes to receive funding, and we know that this unprecedented level of financial support will enable aquatic athletes to reach their full potential,” said Maglione.