ATHLETE WELFARE & PREPARATION FUND

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Olympic medallist Lalonde Gordon now has a trust in his name.

While some athletes get a statue in honour of their accomplishments and others have their name assigned to a plane or stadia, the London 2012 Olympic achiever is to be lauded by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) with the activation of the Lalonde Gordon Fund.

Huey Cadette, secretary for Sport, Education and Youth Affairs confirmed this yesterday.

He explained that while the fund was created two years ago, it was not yet launched and neither had it being operationalised. A board to oversee the fund had been appointed.

Cadette expressed the hope that the fund would become operational in fiscal 2015 with an initial contribution of $1 million from the THA.

Gordon successfully medalled at the London 2012 Olympics in his pet events—the 400m and the 4x400 relay—where he secured bronze medals for T&T.

Through the creation of this fund, the THA hoped to assist athletes and administrators alike in their personal development goals.

The establishment of the fund, however, was being done in isolation, said the secretary.

The fund, he said, would form part of the Assembly’s Tobago Sport Policy, which is still being drafted, and aimed to set a clear mandate in relation to structures and procedures through which elite athletes accessed funding.

“Recognising Lalonde Gordon’s effort and his success at the London 2012 Olympics, the THA would have established a fund where money would be allocated both by the THA and corporate T&T. This fund, of course would be managed by representatives of civil society and of course the Assembly. The role of this fund would be to seek applications from persons whether administrators, athletes, organisations who requires support for programmes related to sport, whether it is training or administrative courses,” said Cadette.

He added: “That is essentially what the fund is created for and we look forward to allowing our athletes to thrive because of the input coming from both the Assembly and corporate T&T. We want to ensure that whether you are playing tennis, table tennis, golf, basketball or football that we can find ways to provide support for our athletes. So yes, there will be some distinct differences in our policy and the national one (by the Ministry of Sport). But overall, our policy will seek to compliment what happens at the national level.”

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