The sport of track and field is to benefit from a significant financial injection over the next three years. The National Gas Company (NGC) has committed to contribute $4 million annually to the Athletic’s governing body, the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) from 2015 to 2017.
The announcement, made by the NGC president, Finance and Information Management Anand Ragbir, means funding from the State-owned company has almost doubled from last year’s input of just over $2.3 million.
Asserting that the company was “meticulous”in ensuring that funds donated through its programmes are used in ways to ensure the best return on investment, Ragbir added the NGC was satisfied its support fitted in with three of the four priorities in the NAAA’s 2012-2016 strategic plan. Those identified priorities were: improved governance, including accountability and capacity building among its member clubs, operational effectiveness and the development of corporate and other partnerships.
Ephraim Serrette, the NAAA president, said the three-year sponsorship would enable his organisation to better plan its programmes, knowing what they have to work with.
“In 2014 we were able to effect a lot more of our operational plans, based on what was set out in the strategic plan because of the intervention of the NGC to the tune of $2.3 million. In the past, we would have been planning with a hope of getting funding to do some of the programmes. It now leaves us with a better planning framework.”
Serrette added that targets set in the sponsorship agreement would provide the impetus to deliver and evaluate. “Our targets,” he said, “are with respect to development, how many more technical officials we are going to train over the next three years, how many more developmental programmes based on the coaches, programmes to deal with drugs in sport, all the different educational aspects of the sport.”
“We can now leave whatever allocation is given to us by the Sport Company towards team travel,” he added, “and the funding that we are getting from the NGC would deal with the administrative and development aspect of the sport.”
Yesterday’s announcement was made at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Among those in attendance were national icon Hasely Crawford, Minister of Sport Brent Sancho and TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis.