NAIROBI, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of African Athletics has challenged its 54 affiliate members to use the Athletics Olympic Dividend Fund to develop the sport ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, president of the Confederation of African Athletics, hopes that countries on the continent will use the Olympic Dividend Fund in the best way to promote and develop talent, which can compete strongly at the Olympics, starting next year in Tokyo.
Malboum said in a statement on Monday that the Olympic Dividend is geared towards the identification of young talent and picked out Burundi as one of the best example to have utilized well the fund.
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) every year awards 25,000 U.S. dollars to each member federation for their development.
"We are encouraging federations to get the money to help them set up development programs at the national level," Malboum said on Monday.
"It could be used for the identification and training of young athletes or to organize competitions. If each federation can set up the proper plan to use the money, then our sport on the continent would benefit greatly."
Kenya has invested the fund toward helping sprinters and field event athletes to get technical skills and to hire coaches.
The Burundi Athletics Federation head Dieudonne Kwizera said they have utilized the money well.
"People do not always know or realize the financial challenges that some athletics federations like ours face," said Kwizera.
"But I hope that by the actions that we have undertaken these past four years we have managed to show the impact that the Athletics Olympic Dividend has had in the development of our athletics program in Burundi."he added
"Without it, we would not be where we are today, so, as a federation, we are very grateful that the IAAF has distributed this fund with us who are working at the grassroots of the sport."