Australia pledges help for Pacific athletes

Australia on Tuesday pledged to help athletes from Pacific nations prepare for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the ‘PacificAus Sports’ program will support nearly 200 Pacific athletes.

“Ultimately we're going to be able to support 170 athletes, Olympians and Paralympians across the Pacific in their Tokyo preparation, from 11 Pacific countries... It's about coaching, it's about travel, it's about accommodation, it's about medical support, it's about enabling participation in those pivotal final qualifying events."

The partnership will alleviate difficulties faced by Pacific athletes, like the cost of training and qualifying for the Olympics.

Australia’s head of the Olympics committee, Matt Carroll, said he’s hopeful the partnership will help athletes today and tomorrow.

"By their own example, Olympic and Paralympic athletes deliver messages of resilience, commitment, hard work to the communities throughout the Pacific, the important messages of health and exercise, using the power of sport, to build better communities."

Although postponed last year, the Tokyo Games are set to start near the end of July.

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