Two of the Cayman Islands’ elite athletes – Shaune Fraser and Cydonie Mothersill – have been awarded athletic scholarships by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Commission. The funding will be used for these two for qualification training activities and competitions, in attempts to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
The international body states that this support will facilitate technical training of athletes. ‘The Olympic Solidarity Commission has established a programme of Olympic Scholarships for Athletes ‘Beijing 2008′ with the principal objective being to enable athletes from each country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) to prepare for and participate in the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing.’
These scholarships were applied by, and will be allocated through, Cayman’s International Olympic Committee (CIOC). President Donald McLean said, ‘This is the first time that the Cayman Islands has applied for this grant, and we are very fortunate, and happy, to have been successful with grants to two athletes.’
The two local representatives are now being given US$1,200 per month, which can be used however necessary. This can include payments for coaches, access to appropriate training facilities, medial and scientific assistance, insurance, board and lodging, and travel.
At the Olympic Games, Mr Fraser will to compete in swimming (the 200-metre freestyle), Mrs. Mothersill will compete in the 100-metre and 200-metre track events. They both met the three pre-requisites of being committed to a regular training regime; having proven the ability to qualify for the 2008 Olympics; and having never been convicted of a doping offence.
This funding is not automatic, however, for the NOC will review and provide the international sponsor with evaluations every four months to ensure that the progress and training is satisfactory.
These two athletes, along with several other local delegates, will participate in the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July – which is a qualification event for next year’s Olympics.
In preparation for this, the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) has been organizing the participation of local athletes in NatWest Island Games XII in Rhodes, Greece, beginning late June; as well as the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July. At the Pan Am Games many local athletes will attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee is officially recognized as the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for major sporting events. As such, it is responsible for all Cayman Islands teams which participate in multi-sport events regionally and internationally.
The CIOC membership reflects the core of local sports, including active participants and promoters of sailing, athletics, swimming, basketball and other sports. (CIOC)