Thursday 27 February, 2020

Athletes’ welfare fund to be revamped – Minister Grange

Jamaican athletes who fall on hard times will soon benefit from a restructured welfare fund.

Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, has disclosed that a committee led by former  president of the Jamaica Olympic Association Mike Fennel, has been tasked with revamping the fund.

Grange, who was speaking Thursday during a sitting of parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, revealed that $27 million has been set aside in the 2018/2019 Estimates of Expenditure to assist athletes in need.

“A fully developed, structured programme will be put in place during the next financial year,” Grange said. The committee is now in the process of finalising the details of how it will now be structured.

“We have to put structures in place. We can't just make money available and people (make a) request and you just give money. There has to be criteria, there has be a structure, and that is what we intend to do with the welfare fund,” the sport minister said.

She noted that the programme will now be expanded to cover all sporting entities, as originally, funds were made available only to one sporting discipline.

Grange said the funds have been earmarked in the Sports Development Foundation's budget for welfare, and is available upon request, with conditions.

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