Eight lucky athletes land Olympic scholarship

Eight athletes have been awarded scholarships for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has announced.

The scholarship provided under the Olympic Solidarity Programme is intended to provide the individual athletes with the best opportunity to prepare and hopefully qualify to participate in the Olympic Games.

In a statement, NOCK disclosed that a total of 12 athletes had applied for the scholarship and the eight chosen are; Mercy Mwethya Joseph (Badminton), Carlos Atieno (Judo), Webster Lukose (Weightlifting), Gulraaj Sehmi (Shooting), Emmanuel Korir (Athletics), Brian Mutua (Table Tennis), Mathayo Mahabila (Wrestling) and Danilo Rosafio (Swimming).

“The process of awarding started off by nominations from respective federations which were thereafter forwarded to the Olympic Solidarity. The Olympic Solidarity in liaison with the respective International Federation assessed each individual applicant and awarded those who in their assessment programme had the best chances of participating in the forthcoming Olympic Games,” read the statement.

Each of the 8 athletes will have an Ksh 75,000($750) monthly stipend for the period starting January this year to the time of the Olympics or when the individual athletes fail under any of the qualification process

The athlete’s will have a further fund available for them to participate in the final qualification competitions once they are successful in their preparations.

Athletes receiving a scholarship can benefit from funding for items such as access to adequate training facilities, specialized coach in his discipline, regular medical and scientific assistance, accident and illness insurance, board and lodging costs and travel to Olympic qualification competitions.

Consequently, NOCK has hailed the development noting that it will increase chances of Kenya’s participation in various disciplines in the Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan.

“The National Olympic Committee is excited about this programme as it provides in the short term the best chance of Kenya sending additional disciplines to the Olympics.

“In view of the importance of this process to the individual athlete’s, the National Olympic Committee is convening a Technical Committee made up of highly qualified and experienced technical personnel to provide oversight to this programme to assist these athletes qualify,” NOCK said.

In the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a total of 1,547 Olympic scholarships were allocated with 185 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) benefiting from the programme.