FINA says it wants to help athletes who “endure hardships related to their training and competitive opportunities due to the pandemic.”The plan includes $4 million for at least 160 national federations to support athletes with expenses for training, competitions and living over the next year.A further $2 million will support 100 scholarships for athletes who currently do not have Olympic qualifying standards to prepare at national or continental centers. FINA supports regional bases in Russia, Senegal, Thailand and the United States.Grants totalling $460,000 will go to continental swimming bodies to distribute.___ The Latest: Swimming body giving $6.5M in aid for athletes July 21, 2020 The 2020-21 season in the Scottish league will start on Aug. 1. The 2019-20 league season did not resume after the lockdown and Celtic was declared champion based on average points per game.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___This season’s Scottish Cup final will be played midway through next season.The Scottish soccer federation says the pandemic-delayed competition will be completed on Dec. 20. That is more than seven months after the original date for the final on May 9.The competition was stopped at the semifinal stage. Defending champion Celtic will play Aberdeen and Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibernian will meet in the other semifinal on the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow.Organizers say players who would ordinarily be barred from playing for a second team in the same competition can play for their new club even if they were earlier fielded by a different team. The ISTAF track meet in Berlin has outlined plans to have up to 3,500 spectators in attendance on Sept. 13.Organizers say they have developed a wide-ranging plan to ensure spectators stay healthy but haven’t revealed specifics. They were hoping for up to 45,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin before the pandemic.Meet director Martin Seeber says he hopes it will be “a first small step back to normality.”Pole vault world record holder Armand “Mondo” Duplantis is headlining the event.The announcement comes as other European track meets plan to bring fans back. Tickets are on sale for the Diamond League meet in Monaco next month and organizers in Lausanne are staging a pole vault competition in the city which could have 5,000 fans if Swiss authorities agree. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Swimming governing body FINA is giving almost $6.5 million to help athletes prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympics. Associated Press
By Ras WadadaAFTER 14 years of existence, the Running Brave Track and Field Club (RBTFC) has firmly established itself as the top athletic club for positive development of the athlete in Guyana, where support is limited among the 12 registered clubs here.The club currently boasts over 120 members, inclusive of a World Champion, and consists of two groups– one based at the Leonora Track on the West Coast and the other at the National Park in the City.The fusion of certified Level II IAAF Coaches, Julian Edmond and Sham Johnny, continue to reap the rewards for their commitment to upcoming athletes.When the duo began their journey with the club in 2006, they were joined by several seasoned runners, including sprinter, Rawle Green, long distance runners, Cleveland Thomas and Lionel Dhanraj, as well as the one who really could be considered the catalyst for the birth of RBTFC – the multi-talented Alisha Fortune.The year was 2002 when Fortune approached Edmond, at his home, and requested him to be her personal coach, and after some pleading and deliberations, the former St. Joseph’s/St. Rose’s High student, who was on a sabbatical from the sport, agreed to be the full-time coach. Four years on, and it was the ideal timing for Coach Johnny to propose the union to Coach Edmond. Without much hesitation, the club was established and as the old adage goes, the rest is history.Fortune remembers the beginning and how the club got its name. ”It was Rawle Green who suggested that we name the club ‘Running Brave’ and we all agreed. Mr. Aubrey Hutson, who is the head of Athletics now, was the club’s first-elected President with Mr. Keith Campbell the first Vice -President.After Mr. Hutson resigned, due to his ascendency as head of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG), Mr. Campbell, who had two talented sons, Emerson and Eon, who became members, took over”.Edmond and Fortune have come a long way in athletics dating back to 1992 when both qualified to represent Guyana at the CARIFTA Games in Guadeloupe but, unfortunately, funding was not available for all and they felt the axe. The duo is also products of the now defunct Rising Stars, coached by Denis Smith, who migrated to the USA and, together, they successfully did the IAAF Level I course in 2000.Among the club’s proud achievements are consistent success at the annual prestigious CARIFTA Games and nurturing talents unto the Collegiate Track in the USA continuously.Since its formation, the club has secured a total of 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the CARIFTA Games, and 1 Gold, 7 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the South American Championships. Presently, there are six Running Brave athletes on Athletic scholarships in the USA, making it a total of 9 to have gained scholarships.Coach Julian Edmond (at left) and co-coach, Sham JohnnyA proud Coach Edmond explained why the club has been having success. “ In terms of the athletes’ successes at the CARIFTA games, I am very proud of their achievements and happy to know that I would have contributed to a period when Guyana had their most success at the Games, finishing in the top 5 among Caribbean countries.“One of the main contributing factor in the consistent rise in Medals for Guyana in recent years at CARIFTA is the acquisition of the synthetic track at Leonora and, more importantly, under the presidency of Mr. Hutson, all the athletes who have qualified for CARIFTA get the opportunity to participate, unlike the past when it depended on funds available.“So, athletes in the past, despite qualifying, were prioritized to be selected, but now athletes and coaches are inspired to go all the way since they will be selected to represent Guyana once they make the qualifying marks”.Edmond added that the club pays extra attention to all the young athletes.“An important aspect of the club is keeping a close eye on the athlete, whereby, we liaise with parents to ensure they are getting their proper rest and nutrition and, more importantly, Coach Sham goes to every school where we have athletes so as to check on their academic progress and behavior; based on our findings we have one-on-one talks, sometimes it necessitates extra tutoring and in extreme cases, we do suspend from club activities so that they can get back on stream…when we formed this club, part of our vision was to assist young people by sharing our knowledge on becoming balanced individuals to secure athletic scholarships and go on to professional careers on or off the track.“Some of these scholarships are worth between 75 to 100 thousand USD”, the former National Schools record holder for the 100M and 400M related.“We start our CARIFTA preparations since in November so that when they go they can perform to optimum and secure medals…we work hard to get into the athletes head so that they get mentally focused…everything is about progression, so we keep a chart where we do yearly evaluation based on monitored progression, including keeping statistics …we have got in excess of 120 from as young as 9 years old”, Edmond shared.“Coaching comes with its challenges, but our aim, at Running Brave, is to produce an Olympic medalist and world champion. We have a structured club without any sponsorship, so we are mainly financed by membership dues and fund raising activities…at times, we as coaches and executive members have to facilitate athletes with assistance in providing transportation money”.Edmond, who had a professional stint on the grassed tracks in Australia between 1993 and 1994, cited a likely Olympics medalist for Guyana while he bemoaned the lack of support.”The talent and potential to give Guyana a first medal at the World or Olympics in athletics is one of the scholarship awardee.About six top Colleges were vying to get Natricia Hooper, and so they paid for her to tour all these colleges and in the end, she chose the University of Florida. She is definitely World class material in the triple-jump. Our programmes can only grow and get better with sponsorship and the Government must take the lead ….lack of support for development is sadly lacking here in Guyana…sometimes we get some support with transportation from Ministry of Social Cohesion….the coaching is all volunteer and making sacrifices is the order of the day; it is a daily early morning routine and afternoon as well”, Edmond lamented.Coach Johnny, who hails from Kitty and is a certified Level II IAAF Coach, is also an ex Santos Football Club player and athlete, but a motor accident ended his career. However, because of his love for sports, he pursued a career in Athletics Coaching.“Cleveland Thomas was my athlete and Edmond had Alisha Fortune; so we merged our energies at that time back in 2006 and, I must admit, that we have had success as a club.Over 35 athletes make up the West side faction of Running Brave…we have a 14-year-old gem who would have run at the 1500m Girls. We have boundless talent, but can’t help appealing to Corporate Guyana and Businesses, in general, to come on board with some much-needed sponsorship’, Johnny declared.