An official request to the Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Sport that the Government’s housing policy should reward national athletes for their service has been submitted by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).
Led by Brian Lewis, the TTOC believe the issue requires urgent attention, telling Government Ministers that the athletes’ service for the country at Olympic, Paralympics and World Championship level needs to be recognised in the country’s housing policy.
Under the TTOC’s proposal they would recommend athletes who deserve merit for their services to Trinidad and Tobago, in conjunction with National Sporting Organisations, with athletes then benefiting from faster housing distribution.
Athletes would be required to meet the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) mortgage criteria and honour the mortgage obligations.
They argue that athletes dedicate years of their youthful lives, making sacrifices surrounding their careers, income and family life, in order to represent the country on the highest stage possible, but their dedication currently leaves them at a social and economic disadvantage.
TTOC believe the alteration to the Government’s housing policy would not only recognise the service of the country’s athletes on the world stage, but that it would have the benefit of helping athletes transition into life away from sport.
They told the Government that the proposal would help to remove an additional burden for athletes who are moving away from the competitive sporting environment whilst additionally ensuring security and providing a home for the athlete and their family after retirement.
The TTOC said they are proposing a similar policy for national athletes to a programme run by the HDC for members of the countries protective services.