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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…
May 31, 2020

FEMALE MEMBERSHIP OF IOC COMMISSIONS REACHES AN ALL-TIME HIGH OF 47.7 PER CENT - TWO…

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) ANNOUNCED TODAY THE COMPOSITION OF ITS COMMISSIONS FOR 2020. THE…
May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…

Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis has expressed disappointment after four national athletes employed by the Ministry of Sports were forced into taking no-pay leave when traveling to Toronto for the Pan American Games last month. 

According to Lewis, the athletes’ short-term contracts did not make provisions for special leave. However, he noted it would be difficult for elite athletes to be given special treatment by their employers when the Ministry of Sport could not accommodate its own.

“I was very disquieted to be informed about this,” he said. “I think the fact that they were employed by the Ministry of Sport raises some fundamental questions. Where is the moral authority now to expect that corporate T&T and other employers will consider representing your country as national service. I’m not saying it as a criticism, I’m saying it as an observation and it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with upfront.” 

Lewis stressed that the country needed to create an environment which would enable its athletes to reach their full potential. 

“We still have a lot of work to do and the TTOC is really trying to deepen the whole athlete-centered approach,” he said. “If we really want to achieve ten or more Olympic medals by 2024, we need to ensure our athletes have what they need.”

Lewis did commend the Ministry for its new ‘Podium Push’ initiative, though he was awaiting clarification about whether it would affect existing programmes.

“We have to make sure it is aligned with our various programmes already in place,” he said. “I am a big supporter of our Elite Athletes Assistance Programme. Yes, it needs to be revamped and reviewed. It has been Cabinet-approved. It assures that the TTOC is part of the process which makes for better transparency and accountability, better fairness and equity. 

“I think it is important therefore that whatever is coming up acts as a compliment and not a replacement for the EAAP. The reality is that we are in an environment where due to the drop in oil and gas revenue, the Ministry of Finance has called for belt tightening. If we are coming up with another programme, is it going to be at the expense of the EAAP? I think all these things need to be looked at.”

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