The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) announcement of an aid package of up to USD $150 million, from which the International Federations, National Olympic Committees and IOC-Recognised Organisations can benefit.
In a statement released over the weekend, the IOC, as the leader of the Olympic Movement, is playing a critical role in supporting its stakeholders during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This funding is meant to help its stakeholders, including the 206 National Olympic Committees, continue their mission to develop their sports, prepare for the Olympic Games and support their athletes.
It was previously announced that Olympic Solidarity (OS) has increased the budget for its athlete programmes by USD $15 million, which covers scholarships for over 1,600 athletes from 185 NOCs and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
Team Fiji has five athletes who, as IOC Scholarship recipients are still vying for qualification in their respective Sports. These include Robert Elder (Archery), Tevita Takayawa (Judo), Eugene Vollmer (Athletics), Matelita Buadromo and Epeli Rabua (Swimming). The IOC has confirmed that Tokyo 2020 Scholarships will continue through to the Games in 2021 for those who are still in contention. In addition the Fiji Women’s Seven’s team is will also continue to be supported through the IOC Team Support Grant.
Sally Yee (Table Tennis), a scholarship recipient through a joint IOC and Japan Olympic Committee initiative is another athlete vying for Tokyo 2020 qualification, who is currently back in Fiji due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The continuation of Sally’s Scholarship is dependent on safety measurers relative to the situation in Japan.
The IOC Executive Board (EB) has approved a financial envelope of up to USD 800 Million to address the COVID-19 crisis.
This number includes the cost for the organisation of the postponed Games of up to USD 650 million for the IOC, and the aid package of up to USD 150 million for the Olympic Movement, including the International Federations (IFs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the IOC-Recognised Organisations, to enable them to continue their sports, their activities and their support to their athletes.
President Bach said: “The Olympic Movement is facing an unprecedented challenge. The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis. This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures.”
FASANOC Chief Executive, Lorraine Mar said that while FASANOC is comforted that our athletes will continue to be supported in their qualification journey, it is acutely aware of the challenges currently being experienced by the athletes in the face of COVID-19.
FASANOC appreciates Government’s strong response in containing this crisis. We are looking forward to our athletes being able to resume training, to borders being re-opened to allow for travel to competitions and generally getting back on track.
Although Team Fiji currently consists of the qualified Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams, we are confident that more athletes will be able to qualify with the support of the Government, National Federations and the IOC, she said