$1.8 billion for sports development
By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Monday, August 20 2012
SPORTS MINISTER Anil Roberts announced that government will allocate approximately $1.8 billion dollars toward the development and enhancement of Trinidad and Tobago’s present and forthcoming sporting facilities.
Roberts made the revelation on Saturday, as he was addressing the media at a special welcoming celebration for double Olympic bronze medallist (men’s 400m/4x400m) Lalonde Gordon at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport.
While the Sports Minister reiterated the importance and dedication of Gordon and every other local Olympian, he assured TT that the People’s Partnership government would deliver a variety of sport development initiatives, with the goal of nurturing and harnessing Olympic-bound talent.
“We will spend over the next two-and-a-half years, $1.8 billion in sporting facilities, $800 million in the National Aquatics Centre, the National Cycling Velodrome and National Tennis Centre. Over $1 billion dollars in 19 regional sporting centres, which will include indoor air conditioned netball courts, squash courts, track and field, computer rooms, community centres, basketball courts, football, cricket nets, video analysis and sports medicine facilities,” he said.
Roberts openly admitted that there was still a lot more work to be done on TT’s sporting facilities.
He accepted the fact that he was the one responsible for ensuring these utilities were implemented for the short and long-term benefit of all the present and upcoming athletes.
“We have a lot of work to do. As minister of sport I will not shirk my responsibility, we have a lot of infrastructure to put in place, a lot of investments into the athletes, into the coaches, into the development, into the science, the massage therapy, and into the sports science centre. I will do that I have no fear. We will fight for the resources within the Cabinet and the budget and that will be done so I accept my responsibility,” he added.
The former swim coach also called on the local sporting organisations to operate with transparency and fairness toward their players. He affirmed that these non-profit organisations paid a vital role toward the all-round development of an athlete in any sporting discipline.
“The associations, the sporting organisations have their responsibilities. To act fairly and equitably to promote all, to recommend and move forward in a way that will promote advanced performance, elite performance and sport for all across Trinidad and Tobago. To increase the critical mass, so that we can have a team in 2016 (Olympics) of 80 athletes,” Roberts explained.