Members of Trinidad and Tobago’s 4x100m and 4x400m Relay Team are to receive $300,000 each from Government for their efforts at the London 2012 Olympics.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the announcement at a reception held in honour of the 2012 national Olympic team on Thursday night.
Both teams added Bronze medals to the country’s overall Olympic medal haul as she listed how the Olympic athletes will be rewarded.T&T’s 4×400 2012 Olympic bronze medalists
“The 4x100m relay team members – Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson – will each receive a sum of TT$300,000. The 4x400m relay team members – Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte and Deon Lendore – will each receive the sum of TT$300,000. Allow me to note that policy and other considerations necessitate the establishment of a trust fund for elite athletes who are on scholarship.”
The Prime Minister also sought to right a wrong regarding another Olympic medalist, George Bovell III, whom she said is an unsung hero.
He earned the country’s first and only Olympic swimming medal for T&T back in 2004 in Athens but was never rewarded.George Bovell
“Mr. Bovell, on behalf of the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, we humbly apologize for the disregard and disrespect meted out to you by the previous regime. In this regard, my Government is proud to announce today that you Mr. Bovell will receive the sum of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars (TT$300,000) in recognition of your sterling service to country during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.”
The Prime Minister said strong consideration is being given to the establishment of national academic scholarships for accomplished elite student athletes.
The Programme is to compliment the existing elite athlete programme which offers a maximum of $250,000 to cover expenses for athletes who are among the top 40 in the world in their sporting discipline.