“We got your back” is the message Minister Smith is sending to Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Government is doing all that they possibly can to assist with the available funds, and know how important the athletes are to the country. “We want you, the athletes, to be examples to the youth and of course to honour the red, white and black.”
Minister Smith indicated that the Government is passionate about sport hence it is top priority to support initiativessuch as the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund (10Golds24). He said, the Prime Minister, Dr. Rowley and his Cabinet understand what Olympics can bring and has brought to this nation. “We saw it with Keshorn Walcott,
Ato Boldon, George Bovell, and our first Olympic gold medallist, Hasely Crawford” amongst others. He noted that itis imperative to support this drive and is hopeful that others will be encouraged to donate to the fund.
In December 2015, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago in his address to the nation,said that as a symbolic gesture, he and his Cabinet colleagues decided effective January 2016, for the next two years, they will each donate 5% of their salary to a selected charity, NGO or sporting body of choice.The Sport and Youth Affairs Minister reiterated that the government of Trinidad and Tobago is here to support and has been the first to publicly acknowledge the pledgy by the Prime Minister.
TTOC’s PresidentMr. Brian Lewis was on hand to receive Minister Smith’s first contribution and stated that he is very pleased that the Minister is displaying his tangible support to the athletes in the drive for 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024. He added that the athletes are doing well with all the different things taking place, but at the end the focus is Rio 2016 going for gold.