LIMERICK’S Ian O’Sullivan is among 12 athletes that the Olympic Council of Ireland has awarded Olympic Solidarity Scholarships to assist with qualification and preparations for Tokyo 2020.
The Rathkeale Clay Pigeon Shooter a former World Junior Champion and current 2017 Scottish Grand Prix Champion.
The west Limerick clay target shooter is one of the 12 scholarship recipients that will receive approximately €523 per month up until the Tokyo Olympic Games due to be held in August 2020.
Athletes will also receive additional funding up to a maximum of €4,180 to assist with travel costs in connection with competing at qualification events.
In order to be eligible, athletes must be competing at international level in an Olympic discipline that will feature at Tokyo 2020 and have the technical ability to qualify for the Games as demonstrated through recent results.
Funding provided under the scholarship scheme will cease prior to 2020 if the athletes for any reason become ineligible to qualify for Tokyo.
The OCI submitted the application to the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Fund on behalf of 12 Irish athletes, having first invited each of Ireland’s National Sporting Federations to nominate qualifying athletes from their individual sports.
The IOC awarded the OCI eight scholarships and one team scholarship but the OCI’s Executive Board decided to invest an additional €140,000 to bring the number of scholarships warded up to the maximum of 12 permissible under the scheme.
"Funding is crucial to performance sport which, by its nature given the international competition, not to mention travel, expert coaching, equipment and sport science and medicine involved, is resource intensive,” said OCI president Sarah Keane.
"We are delighted that we have secured funding from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Fund to support some of Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls and also that the OCI are in a position to invest some additional funds to bring the total number of athletes benefiting from the scholarship programme to 12,” said the OCI president.
"It is a testament to the work by the athletes themselves and those involved in Ireland’s sport performance programmes that we have such an exciting group of talented athletes across a range of different sports determined to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is fantastic to be able to provide some level of financial support to assist them in their quest to secure Olympic qualification."