By Nick Butler at the Olympic Council of Asia Headquarters in Kuwait City

Sheikh Ahmad speaking at the Opening of the ANOC Executive Council Meeting ©ITGMarch 31 - Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has claimed promising athletes in need will be supported all over the world.

He made the pledge in the immediate aftermath of the ANOC Executive Council meeting here today, which followed the first time in more than 30 years that specialised and strategic ANOC Commissions and working groups have convened.

Sheikh Ahmad, also the President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), spoke specifically in relation to athletes in Syria.

"Our scholarships and support are available to everyone, even in Syria where people are suffering," he said. 

"We have had good communication with the Syrian Olympic Committee. 

"They are welcome to solidarity funding and they have also had support from other NOCs, with Japan having offered six scholarships at an Academy in Tokyo.

"Every time we find good and promising athletes in Syria we will fund them in some way, either through solidarity funding or through the OCA or other countries."

Syria has hosted sporting events in recent month despite the ongoing troubles ©Syria Olympic CommitteeSyria has hosted sporting events in recent month despite the ongoing troubles
©Syria Olympic Committee

But, with figures descending here over the last three days representing NOCs spanning all sizes and locations, Sheikh Ahmad also described how this sort of support is universal to all.

To make this point, he cited the example of last month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, where more than 75 per cent of ANOC member nations benefited.

This included countries such as his own, Kuwait, where there is not a proud winter sport heritage, but there are now opportunities for various sports including ice hockey and figure skating.

"The scholarships in Sochi have passed successfully, with many big and small members reaping events," he explained.

"Another thing we are doing is making videos about athletes in special situations to raise their profile.

"This includes athletes in Japan who were impacted by the tsunami as well as Olympic bronze medal-winning women's ice hockey team from Switzerland."

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