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Help for Youth hopefuls


Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Help for Youth hopefuls

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Barbadian athletes who are eligible will get support and funding through their national federation to prepare and qualify for next year’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
The second edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will be held in Nanjing, China, from August 16 to 28. Athletes must be 15, 16, 17 or 18 at the end of next year – depending on the discipline – to be eligible.
Chef de mission of the Barbados contingent, Glyne Clarke, told the SATURDAY SUN that between ten and 14 athletes were expected to be chosen.
“With games such as these, there is always assistance to prepare and qualify,” said Clarke, who is also manager of Olympic Operations at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).
“There are grants we get and that is what we are using for the associations. Once they (athletes) qualify, there are other grant proposals to assist them.”
Clarke said it was not “an unlimited budget” so athletes would get “one or two bites at the cherry”.
Most of the costs to these games are covered by the International Olympic Committee, so the BOA will spend about $30 000 to $35 000.
One of the major challenges will be the qualifying standards.
“Qualifying is quite high, like the Olympic Games, just a different age group,” Clarke said.
However, the national federations are aware of the standards, having been informed as soon as the BOA was notified.
The YOG will have 26 disciplines from aquatics to wrestling – both individual and team sports – but Clarke said the BOA was also looking at qualifiers in athletics, swimming, boxing and “one or two other sports”.
He said it was important to do more to develop athletes at that age.
Boxing and judo have started their preparation and athletes have been going to various meets to qualify. Badminton has also started a programme, but Clarke said one of the top junior players, Amanda Haywood, would be 14 next year, and would not be eligible.
A similar situation occurred with top long and high jumper Akela Jones who was too young for the first edition and is now too old.
To date, no athlete has qualified.
At the first YOG in Singapore three years ago, nine athletes represented Barbados in five disciplines.

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