Brian Lewis applauds Sports Department’s help in Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic quest
TT OLYMPIC Committee (TTOC) Chairman Brian Lewis welcomed the arrival of a $ 2.7 million check issued by the Department of Sports and Community Development (MSCD) for the national Olympic contingent.
Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe on Friday reiterated her ministry’s commitment to TT’s Olympic quest by providing a total of $ 2,795,348.89 for their trip and duration to Tokyo, Japan.
Lewis welcomed the financial support from the ministry and assured that the delegation of 43 athletes and 32 officials “will prudently manage the funds entrusted to us”, reiterating its responsibility to the taxpayers of TT.
“It’s a nice boost as we head to the straight, once Tokyo 2020 takes place. The budget is about $ 4 million, if I round it up, and government assistance is $ 2.7 million. It will give us something to work with. We will nevertheless continue our fundraising efforts, ”he said.
Lewis is committed to ensuring that these funds are properly managed.
“Rest assured, if we are able to manage within budget, we will return any funds that we do not need to the ministry. If for some reason the games don’t work, please be assured that we will return the $ 2.7 million to the MSCD, ”Lewis added.
He also said that TTOC had not requested MSCD support for the entire $ 4 million budget.
According to Lewis, the ministry has fully satisfied TTOC’s financial request. This money will be used for travel preparations, training camps and PCR tests, among other necessities to ensure the comfort of the TT delegation.
He continued, “Our request was for $ 2.7 million for the department to support what we asked for. We did not submit a budget request of $ 4 million to the MSCD. “
Lewis also said that support for Tokyo 2020 and the TTO team would also have taken into account the TTOC tax exemption for team Puma Tokyo 2020 outfit and equipment.
“We strongly believe in operating ethically. We will not misappropriate funds entrusted to us by TT government, MSCD and TT taxpayers.
“In addition, we have the anti-doping compliance requirements for the Games. We are committed to prudent fiscal and financial management. This is how we do business at TTOC, ”said Lewis.
Meanwhile, Cudjoe praised the athletes and technical staff for their commitment to participate in the Games.
In a statement released by the ministry on Friday, Cudjoe said, “In the context of covid19, seeing athletes stay optimistic and shine their light in a time of darkness is wonderful. This is why I am happy to be part of this sports fraternity; to witness the strength and resilience of our athletes.
Cudjoe added that continuing to prepare athletes is part of navigating the pandemic together. She also thanked the Ministry of Finance and MSCD staff responsible for making this funding a reality.
The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8.