Sprinter Jereem “The Dream” Richards, swimmer Dylan Carter and boxer Nigel Paul received a combined total of $450,000 in elite funding from the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, on Wednesday.
“The cheque granted by the Ministry came in good timing for me as I start my outdoor track campaign,” a grateful Richards told the Express from his Florida, USA training base.
On Sunday, at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational in Florida, Richards ran his 100-metre and 200-metre outdoor openers. The reigning Commonwealth Games half-lap champion bagged bronze in the 200 in a wind-aided 20.37 seconds. In the 100 preliminaries, he clocked a windy 10.27, but did not face the starter in the finals.
“I’m pleased with my performance last weekend, and it makes me excited to get back on track and compete again.”
Richards joined the Pure Athletics camp, last year, and is now training under the guidance of American coach Lance Brauman, along with fellow Trinidad and Tobago athletes Machel Cedenio, Kyle Greaux, Keston Bledman, Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Khalifa St Fort.
“So far, so good,” said Richards. “I’m learning new things here, but also refreshing myself on things learnt in the past.”
Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe presented Richards’ cheque to his mother-in-law, Pat Maurice-Thompson, at the ministry’s Nicholas Tower, Port of Spain head office. Carter’s mother, Tracy Carter received on the swimmer’s behalf, while Paul was on hand to collect his own cheque. Dylan is the 2020 First Citizens Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year.
“Despite difficult economic times due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Minister Cudjoe said during the presentation ceremony, “the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago continues to invest in sport and support our athletes.” Richards, Carter and Paul all plan to represent T&T at the July 23 to August 8 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Minister Cudjoe also announced that the ministry would provide over $2 million dollars in funding to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) during upcoming weeks to support its work in preparation for the Olympics.