A TOTAL of 2 328 athletes from across the country have been approved to receive the Government’s Covid-19 relief fund.
The Athletes Relief Fund was launched by the Government on July 10 to provide relief to registered national sport associations, academies, athletes support personnel, individual athletes, community sport and recreation clubs.
But, there has been reluctance, on the part of the intended beneficiaries, to apply for the relief package.
And, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry has started a countrywide tour by visiting Mashonaland West province to preach the relief gospel.This is intended to encourage athletes to apply for their share of the $10 million cake put aside by the Government.
Speaking in Chinhoyi, Coventry encouraged athletes to apply for the relief package.
“We know that this is a small amount but we hope that this can help in some way that you see fit but we are trying to do more for you,” she said
“It may not be in terms of more money but, maybe, in getting more recreational space so that you all have platforms to share, learn and to teach others.
“You are all ambassadors and we have to give you better platforms.
“No one will be left behind. We will work with your associations to see how best we can bring more relief to you.
“I know with the heart and soul that you all have, we will overcome Covid-19 and have a better Zimbabwe.
“I would like to spend more time sharing with you the difficulties and possible solutions and things that you expect from us.”
In a statement from the Ministry’s acting deputy director of Communication and Advocacy, Ranson Madzamba, the authorities were already working to administer the relief fund.
A good number of athletes from the Zimbabwe Boxing and Wrestling Control Board have already received their share.
“Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is in the process of administering the Athlete’s Relief Fund and, to date, we have received a total number of 2328 which have been approved for payment,” read the statement.
“The Ministry and its agencies (Sport and Recreation Commission) and the Zimbabwe Boxing and Wrestling Control Board are now in the final stages of concluding the processes which entail receiving, processing and documenting applications, provincial selection committee meetings and compiling lists of those applications recommended for approval to start receiving the relief funds.”
Athletes will be paid based on a three-tier system.
Those elite teams and/or individuals with realistic medal winning capabilities at world championships, Olympics, Paralympics, World Special Olympics and major games are expected to receive $8000.
Those with a realistic chance to win continental honours will get $5000 with community clubs and academies will receive $2000.
Mashonaland East has the highest number of applicants at 284 while Masvingo has the least number at 93.
Athletics lead the sport codes’ applications at 107 while only six have applied from tennis and handball.