ATHLETE WELFARE & PREPARATION FUND

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THE TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and TT Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA) have announced an official "tier one" bank partner in First Citizens, which will boost a number of their initiatives, including those aligned with the #10Gold24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.

TTOC and TTCGA president Brian Lewis received an envelope containing a cheque from group CEO Karen Darbasie for an undisclosed amount, which both parties said will represent the start of a "continued long-standing" partnership between the two entities. The funds will be directed to the TTOC's #10Gold24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.

"We stand proudly, and we are happy to impact on a new phase of our journey with First Citizens," said Lewis at a brief ceremony at First Citizens Corporate Centre, Queen's Park East, Port of Spain, yesterday, held to announce the partnership.

"We believe in the potential and talent of the youth of TT. We believe that TT, team TTO, can aspire to be a global brand and symbol and motivation of success. For us at TTOC, it is not a job; we do it voluntarily; we do it unpaid; we do it as part of our service and contribution to the youth and young people of TT," Lewis said, praising the bank for its long-term commitment to national athletes.

Lewis, when asked to elaborate on the sponsorship's targets and its duration, replied: "The partnership involves supporting initiatives such as financial literacy, Future is Female, replace guns with medals, next champion, and all the initiatives that the TTOC and the Commonwealth Games Association (has undertaken). The dollar value of that cannot be quantified at this point in time. Yes there is an initial contribution to the #10gold24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund but that's not the sole (involvement)."

He said the sponsorship's value totals "high into the six figures". "What I can say is that they are at the top level of our partnership," Lewis said.

Darbasie, meanwhile, said the venture was a natural one for First Citizens.

"It is an opportunity for TT to show the best of the human spirit, to defy the odds, and to create nail-biting moments, such as in the 4x400m relay, that we can talk about for generations," Darbasie said. "We also look forward to working with as many athletes as possible in developing their financial management acumen and preparing them for life after competitive sports."

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