(ATR) The governing bodies of world tennis have raised more than $6 million to help players who have been hit hardest by the shutdown of the sport due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It could be some time before fans return to watch tennis. (ATP)
The Player Relief Programme is a joint initiative of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the ATP, WTA, and the four Grand Slam tournaments.
The ATP and WTA will administer the financial distributions of the program with the contributions being split equally between men and women. Approximately 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players in need of financial support will be targeted.
Eligibility for the program will take into account a player’s ranking as well as previous prize money earnings according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.
While the seven stakeholders are providing the financial backbone of the program, funds raised through initiatives such as auctions, player donations, virtual tennis games and more will provide opportunity for further support moving forward.
Professional tennis is currently suspended until at least July 13. The French Open has been moved from May to September and Wimbledon has been cancelled for 2020. The US Open remains on the calendar from August 31 to September 13 for now, though the USTA admits it has been “aggressively modeling many other contingencies, including scenarios with no fans”.
World Games to Crown 2022 Softball Champs
(World Games 2022)
The winner of the World Games women's softball tournament will be crowned world champions in 2022.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) revealed the decision while also announcing that the 2021 Women’s Softball World Cup was being postponed to 2023.
"With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 and The World Games to 2022, we wanted to ensure softball athletes had an opportunity for world-class competition in each of the next three years," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
Softball is returning to the World Games for the first time since the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. The World Games 2022, postponed by a year, will be held from July 7-17 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
The WBSC this week also announced that the hosting rights of the inaugural WBSC U-23 Men's Softball World Cup 2021 have been awarded to Argentina.
It will be first-ever edition of the event, created to bridge the gap between U-18 Men's Softball World Cup and the senior national teams. The WBSC says 12-team tournament will be played in the latter half of the year.
Argentina is the current men's softball world champions after winning the title in 2019 in Prague.
World Taekwondo Adds Humanitarian Partner
Raffaele Chiulli, Chungwon Choue sign MoU online. (WT)
World Taekwondo (WT), the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) and the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) are joining forces to promote humanitarian, peace and development initiatives in Sport.
The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was conducted online on Wednesday with WT and THF president Chungwon Choue in Seoul and UIM president Raffaele Chiulli in Rome.
UIM, the governing body for powerboating, is the latest in a growing list of federation partners for World Taekwondo and its humanitarian foundation.
In 2019, the federation signed MoUs with five Olympic IFs (Wrestling, Judo, Badminton, Table Tennis, and Hockey) and two non-Olympic IFs (Muay Thai and Sambo).
“With projects in six countries around the world, we are using taekwondo to help young refugees live healthier lifestyles and learn key skills that will help to shape them into global citizens,” said WT and THF president Chungwon Choue in a statement.
“The UIM has a lot of experience in delivering a number of excellent social and environmental programs. By working together, we can share knowledge and enhance the support we provide refugees and forcibly displaced and vulnerable youth populations.”
IBU Relocates Headquarters
IBU's new headquarters in Anif, Austria (IBU)
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) moved into its new headquarters this week.
The IBU, which has been in Salzburg, Austria since 1999, relocated to the Salzburg suburb of Anif on Monday after 14 years at its previous office.
The federation says the former home of Sony DADC Europe Limited is equipped with the necessary facilities and space to accommodate the IBU's growing administrative team tied to Target 26, the sport’s first-of-its-kind strategic plan.
“In order to achieve these ambitious but achievable targets we need expand our team and operational capacity and moving to a new headquarters is critical in allowing us to do that,” IBU Secretary General Niklas Carlsson said in a statement.
The office is not yet fully staffed due to COVID-19 self-distancing regulations. The IBU remains fully operational throughout this period with staff working from home and the office on rotation.
Written by Gerard Farek
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