The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced the opening of applications for the 2020 Athlete Scholarship Programme (ASP).
The ASP is meant to identify and provide support, resources and expertise to athletes from developing or emerging National Federations (NFs) with the greatest needs to compete at continental and world level over the Olympic Games qualification period - and help their preparations and qualification for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Athletes selected for the ASP will be "carefully placed" in a programme commensurate with their specific needs in the interest of their progressive development to an elite level.
Placements will vary in duration and form depending on the specific outline of the programme developed by the NF in conjunction with ITU Development.
The target group will be athletes from developing NFs who have already shown competence at continental and world level, and are looking to make the step up to top-level training and racing, but need support in order to do so.
These athletes should be seen as Olympic prospects for Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 by their NF.
The athletes will be drawn primarily from the under-23 and elite ranks, but junior athletes can be also considered part of the next generation for the future.
In order to be eligible and apply for the ASP, athletes must be registered and in good standing with their NFs and have shown the ability to race at a high standard in continental and World Cup-level competition.
The athletes nominated by their NFs should be committed to competing in the long term and have the Olympics as an ultimate objective.
The ITU states all applications will be considered in conjunction with a strong endorsement from an athlete’s NF, no later than 31 January.
Successful applicants will be informed within a week after the application deadline, and ITU Development will coordinate the plans with the successful athletes and their NFs.
The athletes selected will be tracked for the duration of the placement and regular reporting will be required from the candidates and personal coaches.
Athletes who receive an ASP will be required to compete in their respective continental championships this year.
All recipients must make themselves available for interviews and photo sessions to promote the ASP in their own country and internationally.
They must either organise or be involved in a community or youth triathlon project within their home NF within their scholarship year.
Athletes also have to submit a detailed report to ITU Development within two weeks of the project taking place.