The Oceania Athletics Association will provide financial assistance to athletes from its member countries to help them compete in upcoming tournaments.
“Due to COVID-19, Oceania Athletics Association has not been able to provide our usual level of support to athletes in our usual format of training and competition scholarships in 2020,” OAA said in a press statement.
“In the interim we are now calling for expressions of interest from highly ranked athletes in each Oceania federation to be considered for financial support. We are hopeful that this funding will go some way to supporting some of our athletes in an uncertain time,” the statement added.
OAA president Robin Sapong said each federation will be given the opportunity to apply for the financial aid and they will be reviewed by a selection panel. OAA member-federations are asked to submit an expression of interest together with the application for their athlete or a possible team member for the Olympic Games (next year in Japan) or any World Series events.
There are nine World Series events scheduled for 2021 and 2022 and the Northern Marianas Athletics had competed in the previous editions of three of these tournaments—World Indoor, World Championships, and the World U20. The World Athletics Championship will be held in Oregon from July 15 to 24, 2022, while the World Indoor will be hosted by Nanjing, China next year (March 19 to 21). Nairobi in Kenya will be the venue for the World Athletics U20 Championships that will also take place next year (Aug. 17 to 22). The six other World Series events are World U18, World Athletics Continental Cup, World Athletics Cross Country Championships (March 2021 in Australia), World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships (April 2022 in Belarus), World Athletics Half Marathon Championships (October 2020 in Gdynia, Poland), and World Athletics Relay (May 2021 in Silesia, Poland).
Zarinae Sapong was the most recent CNMI athlete to have represented the Commonwealth in a World Series event, as she raced in 100m run event in the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar last year.
Meanwhile, once the recipient of the financial assistance is selected, he or she and the coach have to provide OAA a quarterly report on the competition and training details. Application forms and expression of interest must be submitted on or before Aug. 17 (12pm, Australian time). Application forms can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.