Trinidad and Tobago
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Imbert lauds athletes' achievements in Budget 2023

Jonathan Ramnanansingh Finance Minister Colm Imbert -
Finance Minister Colm Imbert -

THE Ministry of Finance announced that sport’s 2022 allocation of TT$272,461,000 for recurrent expenditure was revised to $336,069,053 and the allocation for the fiscal year 2023 is just over $760m.

The sports ministry’s 2023 estimate required for the year ending 2023 is $459,762,000. Partnered with the Capital Development Programme ($82,200,000), the total adds up to $541,962,000.

And with development programme expenditure from the Infrastructure Development Fund (221,641,000), the total allocation for the fiscal year amounts to $763,603,000.

These details were not directly presented during finance minister Colm Imbert’s budget presentation on Monday but were confirmed by the ministry’s Draft Estimates of Expenditure for the Financial Year 2023 on its website.

Imbert did not verbally crunch any numbers for sport’s upcoming year and several sport administrators were a bit uncertain as to how much money was allocated for the new fiscal year.

National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president George Comissiong said via WhatsApp, “Based on what I heard, very little mention was made of sport.”

TT Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath confirmed that he “didn’t hear anything in particular” related to sport’s finances for the new year.

Newsday also reached out to Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe and TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Diane Henderson for a comment on the budget but was unsuccessful.

After highlighting the achievements of TT’s Commonwealth Games medallists, Imbert said it was a fitting tribute to mark the nation’s 60th year of independence.

“We were rightfully proud when our athletes stood on the podium with our national anthem being played on the steel pan. These achievements were based on the extensive foundation which we have laid for more than four decades,” he said.

Imbert confirmed that local stadia such as the Hasely Crawford (Mucurapo), Larry Gomes (Arima) Ato Boldon (Couva), Mannie Ramjohn (Marabella) and Dwight Yorke (Tobago) stadia, alongside the Cycling Velodrome, Aquatic Centre (both Couva) and Racquet Centre (Tacarigua), continue to play an important role in athlete development.

“We have the funding and the policies and programmes, including the elite athlete assistance programme, of TT$250k per athlete.

“We look forward to the youth of the country being inspired by our successes in Birmingham (Commonwealth) and I have no doubt that, in future international games, we will be able to expand our performance from cycling and athletics to the several other sporting disciplines.

“I can now announce that in 2023 we intend to showcase our youth on the occasion of the hosting by TT, of the seventh Commonwealth Youth Games,” he added.

TT play host to the seventh edition of the Games in August 2023