The Covid-19 pandemic has left many athletes asking themselves how they would survive this difficult time, given the restrictions of the COVID-19 19 lockdown. To ease the stress of the athletes, Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) has paid its athletes up to R3,000 each to help them put food on the table.
These athletes are facing a difficult time with several races cancelled, but AGN eased their frustrations with the contribution. The body has supported South African athletes such as Caster Semenya, Akani Simbine, Thapelo Phora and Stephen Mokoka.
Athletics SA (ASA) opened its activities last week after suspending events for two weeks. Most athletes are hoping to secure races in Europe to push for Olympic Games qualifying time but with limited competition locally, getting to Europe to attend athletics events is expensive regardless of fact that AGN assists athletes to pay for 80% of their travel expenses abroad.
“We paid our athletes R3,000 each to help them support their families. I know that it’s not much but it will help to fill the gap. We also assist them by paying 80% of their overseas travels. We are always trying our best to make their lives easier and help financially, and to motivate them not to lose hope during an Olympic year,” said AGN President, John Mathane.
The SA senior track and field championships will take place at the Pilditch Stadium in April. The cream of the crop in SA athletics will gather at the venue to try and qualify for the Olympics.