The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is creating a fund to assist athletes and national federations struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund will give about $400,000 to athletes and national gymnastics federations who have been severely hit by the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis in hopes of easing what FIG president Morinari Watanabe calls a “grave crisis”.
The fund will be managed by the FIG’s Foundation for Solidarity. The foundation supported hundreds of athletes and federations in need through scholarships, financial aid following an accident and equipment donations since its inception in 2002. The criteria for applying for a grant will be released soon.
In addition, FIG also decided to exempt all its member federations from paying their annual membership fees for 2020.
FIG president Morinari Watanabe called this initiative “a valuable example of solidarity and friendship” in the sport when presenting it at the FIG Executive Committee videoconference meeting.
“This grave crisis plunges the world into a period of uncertainty. We cannot wait until the situation for some of us becomes catastrophic before we act and offer our support,” said Watanabe. “We know how strong the spirit of solidarity is in gymnastics. More than ever, it is by being united that we can overcome this crisis.”
FIG said the procedures to apply for a grant and the eligibility criteria will be precisely defined soon, aiming to help those who need it the most without delay.