Wilks: Help is available for injured athletes
With schemes like the Jamaican Athlete Insurance Plan (JAIP) and the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) welfare fund, general manager for the SDF Denzil Wilks believes that Jamaican athletes are now in a position to better manage injuries.
Wilks, who pointed out that the SDF has pumped $20 million per annum into the $60 million plan, urged the various sporting associations to educate athletes on how to take advantage of this opportunity.
Wilks' comments came after a number of national representatives complained of not having access to treatments.
"It is up to them (national associations) to inform the athletes on how to take advantage of the opportunity," Wilks said. "There are a lot of athletes who get an injury and do not know the way to go forward, but there is a way."
Wilks added: "They should be in constant communication with athletes who are in their sports and inform them about how to go about these things."
According to Wilks, athletes who have represented the country at the international level should be registered in the JAIP.
"If an athlete is injured and they have the national insurance, they would go to the doctor, and if there is a shortfall, they can seek to access the athletes welfare fund. That is how it ought to work. If he or she needs additional funding, you would have to ask your national association to submit a request to the SDF and they can get the additional financing from Welfare Fund," Wilks explained.
It is reported that only 28 of the 44 sporting associations currently linked to JAIP are being financed by the Sports Development Foundation, the National Health Fund, and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
The plan provides group health, life, and personal-accident coverage for beneficiaries aged seven to 75.