Athletics Kenya boss Tuwei lauds global body’s fund to bail out athletes 

Thursday, April 30th, 2020 00:00 | By
Women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei receives a bouquet of flowers from Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei at Riadha House when she returned into the country after achieving the new mark last year. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Nairobi, Wednesday

Kenya’s athletes will benefit from a 500,000 U.S. dollar global fund, which World Athletics launched on Tuesday to help athletes with their financial needs through the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei welcomed the move saying it will help bail out athletes who are most effected by the lack of competition with a complete lockdown of sports competitions globally. 

“Certainly this fund will cushion them (athletes) from the effects of this virus.

Every sector needs help and we thank World Athletics for coming up with such an initiative for athletes,” Tuwei said in Nairobi.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Financial hardship

 Coe said it was important that the sport supports its athletes who are most in need during the current circumstances.

 “I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months,” said Coe.

Most professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income. “We’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic.

We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible,” Coe added.

The World Athletics head will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for help, which will be submitted through World Athletics’ six Area Associations.

The members include Olympic champion and 1,500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi, among others.

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