The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) has launched a committee to assist developing athletes through its newly-formed Athletes Welfare Commission.
The commission’s mandate is to assist athletes from all disciplines to reach their full potential in preparation for local, regional and international competitions. The immediate support is intended to assist athletes who are attempting to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Athletes on a case-by-case basis will be able to apply for assistance that would be a contribution toward their training and preparation for Tokyo.
“There are any number of needs that an athlete would have on the road to a qualifying event,” said BOC President Romell Knowles. “Whether it is equipment, transportation, dietary supplements or some other resource, the athletes are facing tremendous obstacles to be in the best position to compete. The commission’s job is to look at the applications and assist as best as we can – the best ways the BOC can help relieve some of those burdens.”
The national sports federations will be the point of contact for athletes. They will have access to applications through their national governing bodies. Once an athlete has completed an application, it must be endorsed by the federation and returned to the BOC through the federation.
“Fortunately, there are athletes already on Olympic scholarships, and some who have government subventions,” said Knowles. “So, there is a level of support already for some athletes, but these commission grants are for other athletes who have less support available to them.”
Knowles said professional athletes will not be eligible for grants from the commission. Applicants will have until July 3 to have their applications returned to the BOC. Successful applicants will be notified within three weeks of the application deadline.