12 Irish Olympic hopefuls have been awarded grants worth approximately €523 per month until Tokyo 2020, writes Stephen Barry.
The Olympic Solidarity Scholarships, worth up to €18,800 over three years, will assist the athletes’ qualification and preparations for the Tokyo Games, with an additional €4,180 available to cover travel costs for qualification events.
In addition, a €84,000 scholarship (€21,000 per year) has been awarded to the Irish Hockey Men’s National Team, who are bidding to reach a second successive Games.
The total value of the funding is up to €360,000, although funding will be cut-off for any athlete should they become ineligible to qualify for any reason.
Priority has been given to those not in receipt of other grants.
The athletes awarded scholarships are:
The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) was awarded eight of the 12 scholarships by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but decided to invest an additional €140,000 to achieve the maximum of 12 scholarships under the scheme.
President of the OCI, Sarah Keane said: “We are delighted that we have secured funding from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Fund to support some of Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls and also that the OCI are in a position to invest some additional funds to bring the total number of athletes benefiting from the scholarship programme to 12.
“It is a testament to the work by the athletes themselves and those involved in Ireland’s sport performance programmes that we have such an exciting group of talented athletes across a range of different sports determined to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”