Bahamian athletes can apply for grants through the Barbados Olympic Committee's Athletes' Welfare Commission ©Getty Images

The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) has made $30,000 (£24,200/€26,700) available to athletes struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Grants will be distributed through its new Athletes' Welfare Commission, although professional athletes will not be eligible to receive funding.

Athletes with sponsorships from sportswear manufactures will also not be considered for grants, according to BOC President Romell Knowles.

Knowles told The Tribune: "Fortunately, there are athletes already on Olympic scholarships, and some who have Government subventions.

"So there is a level of support already for some athletes, but these Commission grants are for other athletes who have less support available to them.

"The assistance to the athletes will depend on their specific needs."

Applications are to judged on a case-by-case basis, with the funds already said to be over-subscribed.

The Athletes' Welfare Commission is headed by Roy Colebrook, a BOC vice-president.

Professional athletes such as Shaunae Miller-Uibo are ineligible for the funding ©Getty Images
Professional athletes such as Shaunae Miller-Uibo are ineligible for the funding ©Getty Images

Athletes have until July 3 to return their applications to the BOC and successful applicants will be notified by the end of the month.

An athlete's application must be endorsed by their sport's national federation.

Knowles highlighted that this funding is intended to help athletes who are still in a position to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which will now take place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are any number of needs that an athlete would have on the road to a qualifying event," Knowles added.

"Whether it is equipment, transportation, dietary supplements or some other resource, the athletes are facing tremendous obstacles to be in the best position to compete.

"The Commission's job is to look at the applications and assist as best we can, the best ways the BOC can help relieve some of those burdens."

The Bahamas' Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has had its budget cut in response to the pandemic.

Many Bahamian athletes based in the United States are also expected to return home for financial reasons, with the nation opening its borders again today.