The Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT ) has thrown a $195,000 lifeline to 12 Olympic cycling hopefuls towards their participation in next month’s Pan American Cycling Championships in Santiago, Chile.
After being told by officials of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TT CF) last week, that they would have to foot their own bill to the Championships due to financial constraints at SporTT , the organisation’s sport development manager, Anthony Creed, stepped in to quell the uneasiness among the cyclists and their respective managerial teams. Creed revealed yesterday that SporTT was able to source these much needed funds which will be used for the athletes’ airfare and accommodation in the South American continent from September 1-6.
Speaking to TT CF president, Robert Farrier, after the welcomed revelation, he was in an obvious buoyant mood and pleased to know that the fraternity’s representatives would now be funded on their competitive journey.
Farrier also commended the speedy resolution by SporTT .
“We have always been working closely with the Sport Company,” said Farrier yesterday.
“We understand their position and the funding that is given to them. We try to work together with them. We never pressured them, we actually tried to resolve it in an amicable way where all parties can agree to and work with.” However, the former national rider pleaded with corporate Trinidad and Tobago to show more interest in the nation’s developing athletes. The TT CF boss stated that this nation’s cycling prospects have been working diligently on both the local and international circuit, and are indeed deserving of assistance and support from the business community.
“Our issue is that we are still trying to brand our athletes as a product so we can attract more corporate sponsorship.
But really and truly, corporate sponsors should come on board. These athletes are dedicated to the sport and we can’t expect the Government to do everything all the time. There is only so much funding available,” he continued.
Farrier also questioned whether the tax incentives allotted to local businesses in TT with regards to sponsorship, played any motivational factor.
“This year alone, every Championships that the Government has invested in us, we have proved that we add value to the funds allocated to us. The Government has set a tax break that no one seems to be interested in. The $3 million with 150 percent tax break, it doesn’t seem to attract corporate sponsors so we have to find another way to get sponsors on board,” Farrier concluded. The 12 cyclists selected to fly the red, white and black in Chile are London Olympic Men’s Sprint fourth-placed Njisane Phillip, Quincy Alexander, Kwesi Browne, Jude Codrington, Justin Roberts, Varun Maharajh, Akil Campbell, Gavyn Nero, Jovian Gomez and females Jodi Goodridge, Aziza Browne and Teneil Campbell.