media_artricles :: 2018
Sports Ministry breaks silence on elite fundingNewsday :: 02.03.2018
THE MINISTRY of Sport and Youth Affairs has finally spoken out on the issue of elite funding concerning national elite athletes, giving details on what sprinter Richard Thompson received over the years.
The Ministry's response comes almost two weeks after Thompson gave the media details of his conversation with Ministry official Shabir Mohammed over elite funding. Thompson said TT athletes continue to be disrespected and broken promises are continuously made over elite funding.
The press release by the Ministry yesterday addressed funding given to Thompson between 2007 and 2015 – a period Thompson was not concerned about.
The release stated, "The Ministry's records indicate that Mr Richard Thompson has been the beneficiary of TT$1.25 million dollars under the Elite Athlete Assistance Programme for the period 2007 to 2015. Mr Thompson has also been rewarded by the Government of TT for his performance at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, in the sum of TT$750,000.00." The release added, "The Ministry of Sport stands ready to provide quality support, inclusive of grant funding, to ensure that all of our national athletes, including Mr Thompson, attain and maintain the highest level of ranking in their chosen discipline."
Athletes must have attained an international ranking in the top 40 of their respective disciplines in the preceding 12-month period in order to be considered for funding.
Thompson was not pleased with the manner in which Mohammed addressed him in the email about elite funding. The Ministry release said its staff will be re-trained to handle situations professionally.
"The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs values its relationship with our national athletes and in this regard, acknowledges its obligation to address staff sensitivity to its client interface going forward, through the conduct of refresher courses in customer service for all of its frontline staff."
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