COVID-19: Nigerian athletes to get relief fund

COVID-19: Nigerian athletes to get relief fund

By Olalekan Okusan

Three Nigerian athletes will benefit from the offered one-time $3000 grants from the World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF).




The one-time $3000 grant through an athlete welfare fund was announced in April to help support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to World Athletics, 261 eligible applications were received by IAF by the May 31 deadline   with only 193 meeting the eligibility criteria under the oversight of an expert working group chaired by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

Three Nigerian athletes met the criteria with 2019 African Games 100m Champion Raymond Ekevwo and bronze medalist Usheoritse Itsekiri being among the successful athletes.

NationSport learnt yesterday that the application was facilitated by the Ibrahim Gusau-led Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)  with confirmation that  the three Nigerian athletes selected were considered based on their inability to have sponsors to prosecute their programmes ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

However, athletes ranked in the top six on the World Rankings, those who finished in the top six in any Gold Label Road race in 2019, and those who earned more than $6000 in prize money from the 2019 Diamond League were not eligible to apply in order to help focus support to those most in need.

The Foundation expects to begin making payments to athletes as early as this week.



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