MINISTER of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe said the ministry will continue to do its best to provide funding for TT athletes and confirmed that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s request for funding for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has been sent to Cabinet.
The Olympic Games, now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, was postponed by a year because of covid19.
Japan is now experiencing another spike in cases as the International Olympic Committee remains hopeful that the much anticipated sporting event will be held. A state of emergency is in place in many major cities in Japan from April 25 to May 11, including Tokyo.
The pandemic has affected TT’s economy, but in recent months TT athletes have been receiving funds individually from the Government in aid of their training.
On Monday, in an interview with Newsday, Cudjoe was optimistic that after delivering funds to individual athletes national teams should be given the necessary funding.
“As long as they apply we process their applications and we grant them the funding. That is how it has been so far,” Cudjoe said.
“We’ve have had individual requests which we have honoured and we are waiting for the releases for (the TT) Olympic Committee because that amount was over the limit of the permanent secretary (PS). They had requested two-point something million dollars and because that request amount is over what the PS could approve we had to take that one for Cabinet. Cabinet approval was received…so far we have not had any problems in providing necessary funding for the athletes who are going to Olympics or any international games.”
Asked if corporate TT has been on board recently in terms of sponsorship, Cudjoe said, “I am not aware of corporate (support) this year. You may get a more updated answer coming from Brian Lewis himself at TTOC (president of TTOC) or at the NAAAs (National Association of Athletics Administrations), but I am not aware of corporate funding at this time. I will have to have that conversation with them, but whatever they request of the Government we do our best to supply.”
The TT CARIFTA athletes are also counting on the required funding for the 2021 CARIFTA Games from August 13 to 15 in Bermuda. A final decision will be taken in May whether the CARIFTA Games will be held.