• Thursday, Jul 02, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:56 pm

Government to aid 1,000 struggling athletes

  • Published at 08:39 pm May 6th, 2020
Coronavirus the virus
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The decision came after a meeting at the National Sports Council conference room Wednesday which was organized to support the corona affected athletes

The government will aid 1,000 vulnerable athletes from 27 sports who are struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced all sports activities to remain suspended since mid-March.

Ministry of Youth and Sports said it is the primary step towards helping 1,000 poor athletes with Tk10,000 each in the first phase of the initiative.

The decision came after a meeting at the National Sports Council conference room Wednesday which was organized to support the corona affected athletes.

Jahid Ahsan Russel, the State Minister for Youth and Sports, chaired the meeting and read the outcomes for the media through video message and press release.

“The humanitarian support to athletes [under discussion] will be given in a few phases. In the first phase, we will help 1,000 athletes from 27 federations who need the most support. We are thinking of providing Tk10,000 to each of them,” said the State Minister.

The list of 1,000 athletes is not ready yet. 

Kazi Arif Billah, the public relations officer of the Youth and Sports Ministry, said they asked the respective federations to prepare the names of the struggling athletes.

On March 12 when the Covid-19 was declared pandemic, the 9th Bangladesh Games, comprising around 10,000 athletes in 31 disciplines, scheduled for April, got postponed in order to avoid the risk of outbreak.

The final round of the Bangabandhu and Bangamata Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournament, one of the largest in the world, was postponed as well.

Four days later, the government postponed all sorts of sports activities as a precaution to combat the spread of coronavirus in the country.

All activities of cricket and football got postponed, including the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, Bangladesh Premier League and many events of other sports.

“The virus hit at a time when all kinds of sports in the country were active, especially some important events that provide annual income source to the players. Everyone got affected after the suspension of play,” admitted Russel.

The State Minister also informed that another initiative has been taken to give honorarium to athletes of each 64 districts with Tk2,000 per month. 

He said, “Letters have been sent to 64 districts asking for names of athletes who are financially suffering because of the pandemic. One-time honorarium of Tk24,000 will be provided to them.”  

The reports of financial distress of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation athletes who lost their jobs as casual worker appeared in the media last month. 

Some of the Women’s Football League players are also reportedly facing financial hardship. 

There are more untold stories in other sports too.

Bangladesh Cricket Board came forward with financial support to the cricketers and the clubs while Bangladesh Athletics Federation also raised funds to help the struggling athletes, coaches and former players. 

There were some personal initiatives to aid the athletes with star cricketer Tamim Iqbal and footballers Mamunul Islam and Topu Barman leading the way.

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