Kingston, 11 February 2020 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Ministry will be providing financial assistance for athletes preparing to compete in Major Games.
Minister Grange was speaking at the unveiling of the Asafa Powell statue at Statue Park at the National Stadium on Sunday, February 9.
“This is a long term effort by this Administration to provide the necessary support systems to ensure that the wellbeing of our athletes is sustained. As part of our effort to enable our sportspeople to achieve global success, this evening, I am pleased to announce that beginning on March 1 and continuing into mid-July of this year, athletes who have qualified or are on the brink of qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, will receive $20,000 per week towards their preparation, to be disbursed on a monthly basis.”
The Sport Minister said the money would assist the athletes to offset costs relating to coaching and training; transport; physiotherapy and massage therapy; nutrition, and special needs.
“In addition, the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan is available to assist with medical treatments that the athletes may require.”
She emphasised that the athletes selected to benefit from the programme must be certified by their local governing body as well as by the National Olympic Committee and the Jamaica Olympic Association.
“We are finalising the details of this programme in consultation with the respective National Sport Federations. The success of this programme will be dependent on input and information provided by the national sports governing bodies and so we look forward to their full cooperation in this regard.
“I repeat my pledge to continue to be the chief advocate, chief cheerleader, chief supporter, chief motivator for our creative and athletic people and will do all I can to ensure that you get the respect and recognition you deserve.
“And so I am determined to expand the scope of our participation in global sports. So, in all we expect that we will be supporting over 100 athletes in their bid to represent Jamaica at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”
“Once we have finalised the intricacies of implementing the programme, we will turn our attention to providing assistance to other high performance athletes who represent our country with great distinction and are in need of this support.”
Minister Grange commended Asafa Powell for his “outstanding achievement in the field of national and international athletics. We respect his commitment, hard work and performance as well as the contribution of those whose support made it all possible – his family, coaches, community.
“I am sure Asafa’s story will inspire other youngsters who are even now contemplating investment in their talents and abilities and the unlimited possibilities ahead of them,” the Sport Minister concluded.