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The IPC’s update on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – 17/09/2020

18 September 2020

The purpose of this biweekly update is to keep everyone within the Paralympic Movement informed of the latest developments with the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to the Paralympic Games and Para sport.

This week’s update contains the following information:

·         P&G make good in a time crisis – athlete charitable organisations to benefit from USD 500,000 fund

·         Latest updates from Tokyo 2020 and the IPC – includes an update of Japanese events moving to 50 per cent audience capacity

·         Latest World Health Organisation update

The newsletter starts this week not with our usual insight article from across the Movement, but with news of a development opportunity for Para athletes. Athletes will be able to access funding for charitable causes courtesy of new initiative from International Paralympic Committee (IPC) worldwide partner Proctor & Gamble.

In partnership with the IPC and International Olympic Committee , this week P&G have launched their Athletes for Good Fund. It will see Paralympic and Olympic athletes have the chance to access 52 USD 10,000 grants, each, to support a charitable organisation that they are passionate about and have been involved with in 2020. Work in the area of COVID support has been identified as an area that could qualify for the grants. Athletes can apply from 17 to 30 September 2020.

We want this mail to continually highlight initiatives that National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), International Federations (IFs) and athletes are doing. If you would like to let us know about your story or raise awareness of any other initiative, then please get in contact at ipc.media@paralympic.org.

On a final note, we thought we would relay this week is the thoughts of a Para athlete who recently competed in the US Open Tennis tournament and praised the tournament organisers for the way they looked after the athletes and kept them secure from COVID-19.

Britain's Jordanne Whiley, who won the US Open women's doubles title with Japanese partner Yui Kamiji, said: "They did a really great job. We have each had our own private suite with food and drink on demand. Everything has been spotless and everyone was abiding by the rules. I cannot fault it."

 

P&G make good in a time crisis – charitable organisations that athletes support to benefit from USD 500,000 fund

This week new Paralympic Worldwide Partner Proctor & Gamble (P&G) has launched an initiative designed to support causes that athletes feel strongly about, and it is particularly relevant to the COVID environment that athletes have found themselves in this year.

Called the Athletes for Good Fund, this new initiative is going to award 52 grants worth USD 10,000 each to support charitable organisation that Paralympic and Olympic athletes are passionate about and have been involved with in 2020.

The grants are available to athletes who have already qualified, or are attempting to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games or Olympic Games. Athletes can submit application through the IOC’s Athlete365 sire between 16 and 30 September – there is a link below.

What is the Athletes for Good Fund?

The Athletes for Good Fund is a joint initiative with P&G, the IPC and the IOC that will issue grants directly to the causes supported by Paralympic and Olympic athletes who are advancing important work in the areas of equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability and community impact.

The Athletes for Good Fund will award 52 grants, each for the sum of USD 10,000, over the next year – representing one grant for every week between the one-year-to-go milestone and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2021. The grant money will go directly to the charity of choice for each athlete and help facilitate the incredible work they are doing together.

Why has the Athletes for Good Fund been established?

This has been an unprecedented year, with people across the globe confronting very real challenges as well as the deferment of dreams, big and small. The response P&G have seen from athletes around the world – from promoting causes to help with food distribution and fundraising for COVID-19 relief, to working with organisations on anti-racism education – has shown them what it means to lead with love in trying times.

Building upon the success of the last 10 years of partnership and the values shared by P&G and the IOC to improve life and create a better world, on 22 July they announced a first-of-its-kind, citizen-driven partnership to advance important work in key areas – equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability and community impact – through to 2028. The Athletes for Good Fund was created as the first commitment to this partnership. Now that the IPC is also involved in the partnership, Paralympic athletes also qualify.

How can athletes apply?

If you are a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic or Olympic Games athlete or hopeful who has carried out charitable work in the past year to help build and serve your community, P&G invite you to apply for a grant on behalf of that organisation.

Athletes can submit an application on Athlete365 between 17 and 30 September at this link https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/athletes-for-good-fund-pg


Athlete stories highlighted in The Measure of Greatness

To shine a light on Paralympic and Olympic athletes and hopefuls, P&G has also debuted The Measure of Greatness, which tells the uplifting stories of four inspirational athletes who have used this moment to serve others. To see more about them you can view the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZciNNbgXSIA&t=52s

From fighting on the front lines in the medical field against the COVID-19 pandemic, to promoting racial equality, to using resources to direct medical equipment and food to those most in need, these athletes epitomise how people can lead with love during challenging times and are the first recipients of the P&G Athletes for Good Fund.

Kim Daybell (Great Britain, Para table tennis): Daybell was due to start training full-time to prepare for Tokyo 2020, but instead returned to work full-time as a medical SHO (senior house officer) managing COVID-19 patients in a London hospital. He has been working 40-60 hours each week in the hospital, while still staying mentally and physically fit for his continued journey on the road to Tokyo 2020.

Simone Manuel (USA, swimming): As the first Black woman to win an individual medal in Olympic swimming, Manuel is an outspoken advocate for challenging racial stereotypes in her sport and has consistently used her platform to educate followers on how to be actively anti-racist, amplify Black voices and encourage all people to dream big. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Manuel has also used her platform to support organisations that connect the food insecure with much-needed meals.

Momota Kento (Japan, badminton): Kento donated 10 per cent of prize money from his 2019 tournament winnings (USD 50,000) to the Tokyo Medical Association in support of COVID-19 relief efforts, and helped in the donation of 200,000 masks to students and medical staff in Japan. He has also dedicated time to mentoring youth badminton players, offering encouragement and motivation as they navigate this time away from competition.

Pamphinette Buisa (Canada, rugby): Buisa co-organised a peace rally for Black lives in Victoria (Canada) and is a prominent voice in the Canadian sporting community, encouraging others to engage in anti-racist work and equitable reconciliation. Additionally, Buisa has joined forces with several women in her community to establish and fundraise for a COVID-19 relief fund for people in need on Vancouver Island.

 

Tokyo & IPC 2020 updates

Japan increases venue capacity to 50 per cent

In encouraging news from Japan, from Saturday, 19 September professional sports, concerts and other events will be able operate at 50 per cent of capacity in terms of spectator numbers.

With signs that nationwide coronavirus cases are moderating in Japan, and following a meeting of a panel of experts, the Government decided to lift the 5,000-person cap on large events, allowing them to hold up to 50 per cent of their capacity.

Japan's economic revitalisation minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, in charge of pandemic response, said the new rule will be in place until the end of November. The government will decide whether to keep the attendance rule in place beyond November after reviewing the trend of virus infections and seasonal spread of influenza.


Tokyo 2020 Paralympic competition schedule

The full schedule is available on the Tokyo 2020 website. 

Tokyo 2020 Qualification

The qualification regulations for all 22 sports can be found here: https://www.paralympic.org/tokyo-2020/qualification-criteria

Para sport event postponements and cancellations

The list of cancelled Para sport events remains on the IPC website and is being regularly updated. You can find details here.

 

World Health Organisation update

According to WHO’s latest Daily Situation Dashboard on 17 September 2020 15:35 CEST, the number of confirmed worldwide cases has risen to nearly 29.8 million, with over 937,000 deaths confirmed. John Hopkins University of Medicine is reporting that over 20.0 million people have recovered.

Alarming rates of coronavirus transmission across Europe should "serve as a wake-up call," said the WHO this week, who warned countries not to cut the length of mandatory quarantine periods. They said: "We have a very serious situation unfolding before us. Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March."

In a more positive note the WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said there are now more than 170 countries participating in its plan to distribute vaccines fairly around the world.

He said: “We already face challenges with vaccine acceptance for many proven vaccines. We cannot risk having an effective vaccine for COVID-19 that people refuse because of the perception that it is unsafe. The first vaccine to be approved may not be the best. The more shots on goal we have, the higher the chances of having a very safe, very efficacious vaccine.”

The IPC continues to use the WHO and their site as its main source of information regarding the COVID-19. It provides regular situation reports and have a wide range of guidance on health and protection, travel advice, as well as extensive myth-busting and technical guidance sections.

Their 'Key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19' guidance can be accessed on this link.

WHO’s WhatsApp messaging service

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