ACT Olympic hopeful Clare Warwick wears a green and gold uniform and is pictured in action, throwing a softball.
Olympic-bound Canberran athlete, Clare Warwick, playing at the Women’s Softball World Championship in Japan, 2018. Image: Getty

Canberran athletes preparing to compete in cycling, skateboarding, para-athletics, para-rowing and softball at the Tokyo Olympic Games have been awarded a financial boost by the ACT Government 100 days before the rescheduled event.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry announced $300,000 in funding today, 14 April, with $100,000 devoted to the ACT Training Assistance Program which will benefit 32 local athletes.

The remaining $200,000 will be put toward the Australian Olympic Team and Paralympics Australia Team appeals.

Ms Berry said Training Assistance helped athletes focus on their training and qualify for the Games, which will begin on 23 July, pandemic permitting.

“This funding is vitally important as it helps athletes meet increased training and competition costs in the lead up to Tokyo, which includes travel, training and equipment costs, as well as additional coaching,” she said.

“While there has been some uncertainty that the Games would go ahead in 2021, every day comes with a bit more confidence that we will be cheering on Canberra athletes in just 100 days’ time.”

The Training Assistance program will be female dominated, with 19 of the 32 athletes signed up to participate being women.

Olympic-bound softball player and Canberra school teacher Clare Warwick, who has played at five World Championships, said it was great to be back on track for Tokyo, and training was ramping up.

“The ACT Government support through the Training Assistance Program will really help me to focus on and get the most of out of my training and preparation so that I am ready to perform in Japan.”

Warwick began playing softball as a nine-year-old, and first represented ACT at the U16 Girls’ National Championship.

Today she is best known as a shortstop on the Australian team, and is a current member of the Softball Australia Open Women’s Squad.

According to Softball Australia, she “possesses exceptional defensive ability and makes plays few others in the world can”.

Due to the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympic Games were rescheduled by exactly one year.

This year’s revised dates for the Olympic Games are 23 July to 8 August, and the Paralympic Games will be from 24 August to 5 September.

According to the latest reports, Japanese officials have made several compromises to ensure the Olympic Games can still go ahead.

The torch relay will be pared back and for the first time in history, overseas fans will not be invited.

A recent spike in infections in Tokyo and other parts of Japan has resulted in new restrictions being imposed. 

It will not be mandatory for Olympic participants to be vaccinated; however, the International Olympic Committee encourages athletes to have the jab, and will offer Chinese-made doses to athletes comingfrom countries without access to doses.  

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