ZOC Announces Rio 2016 Olympic Scholarship Recipients

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee is pleased to announce the 10 successful recipients of Olympic Athlete Scholarships for the Summer Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro 2016.  The Olympic Scholarship Programme aims to fulfil the principle of solidarity when allocating scholarships by favouring NOCs with the greatest needs.  The programme only benefits individual sporting disciplines and team sports are catered for under a different and separate plan.

ZOC called for application for Olympic Scholarships from disciplines on the Summer Olympic programme in April 2014 and a total of 17 responses were received from 5 National Sport Associations.  Thereafter the ZOC Technical Commission undertook a vetting process and submitted a total of 10 applications to Olympic Solidarity for the final selection. The criteria for the award of a scholarship considers whether the athlete:

  • Is practising an individual sport included on the Olympic programme;
  • Has a technically sound level of performance capable of qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games, with proof of technical sports level shown through results obtained at national and international competitions.
  • Has limited access to alternative means of paying for their preparation such that the award of the scholarship would make a significant difference to their training, as presented in applications received from the NOC
  • Is free from any doping offence or sanction for actions contrary to the standards of sporting ethics as established by the Olympic Charter

Olympic Solidarity has approved scholarships for the following athletes from Zimbabwe:

Athletics
Wirimai Juwawo
Ngonidzashe Makusha
Gabriel Mvuvure
Cutbert Nyasango

Rowing
Peter Purcell-Gilpin
Micheen Thornycroft

Swimming
Kirsty Coventry
Chad Idensohn
James Lawson
Robyn Lee

In Athletics, Cutbert Nyasango and Wirimai Juwawo will be looking to return to the Olympics in the Marathon after finishing 7th and 15th respectively for Zimbabwe in London 2012.  Ngonidzashe Makusha was a 4th place finisher in the Long Jump at the Beijing 2008 Games.  He was the 2008 NCAA Indoor Champion while competing at Florida State University and also won the Bronze Medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.  Gabriel Mvumure is a sprinter in the 100M.  He competed at the 2013 World Championships and also ran collegiately for Louisiana State University.

Micheen Thornycroft is also a former Olympian having competed in the Rowing Single Sculls in London 2012.  Peter Purcell-Gilpin competed in the 2013 U23 World Rowing Championship in Linz, Austria.

In Swimming, Kirsty Coventry is Zimbabwe’s most decorated Olympian having won seven individual medals between the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games.  Chad Idensohn and Robyn Lee recently competed for Zimbabwe in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.  James Lawson won two Gold Medals in the 2010 Zone VI U20 Games in Swaziland.

The objective of the Olympic Scholarship Programme is to assist elite athletes selected and proposed by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in their preparation and qualification for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, Rio 2016.  The programme offers NOCs the possibility to obtain financial and technical assistance for a limited number of elite athletes who are training, and attempting to qualify, for the Rio Olympic Games.  Funding is administered and managed by Olympic Solidarity, which is the arm of the International Olympic Committee mandated “to organise assistance to the National Olympic Committees, in particular those which have the greatest need of it. This assistance takes the form of programmes elaborated jointly by the IOC and the National Olympic Committees with the technical assistance of the International Federations” (Rule 5, Olympic Charter).  The programme aims to promote universal representation at the Olympic Games.  Consequently candidates from NOCs that have traditionally sent small delegations to the Games are usually prioritised.

The total budget allocated to this programme for the period 1 September 2014 – 31 August 2016 is approximately USD $250,000.00. This covers items agreed upon by the athlete, the National Association (NA) and the NOC.  Funds are distributed and accounted for quarterly, with athletes benefitting from items such as access to appropriate training facilities, coaching, medical and scientific assistance, insurance, room and board, adequate pocket money, travel subsidies for required International and Olympic qualification competitions, and access to technical information on the Rio Olympic Games.

Athletes who manage to qualify and who are entered to participate in the Rio Olympic Games by their NOC will have their scholarships confirmed up until 31 August 2016.  Scholarships awarded to athletes who fail to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games will be withdrawn as of the date of their final qualification opportunity.

ZOC was delighted to receive the news of this athlete support grant which will provide assistance to athletes over a 2 year period and in the lead up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.  ZOC greatly appreciates the support and confidence that Olympic Solidarity and the International Federations have placed in the prospective Zimbabwean athletes.