World Athletics Launches $500,000 Fund to Support Athletes

World Athletics, alongside the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), has launched a US$500,000 fund to help athletes affected by the coronavirus pandemic financially.

The athletic world has been devastated by COVID-19, which has seen the Olympic Games in Tokyo postponed until 2021.

That had a knock-on effect with the World Athletics Championships, originally scheduled for 2021 in Oregon, pushed back to 2020, while 2020 European Championships have been cancelled.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who also chairs the IAF, 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.

Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi are among the member of the working group, which will meet to establish a process for awarding and distributing grants to individual athletes and to look at other ways to raise additional monies for the fund.

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

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