Sports

Athletes removed from government’s subvention list

In line with the projected cuts for athletes’ subvention in this fiscal period, Guardian Sports has learnt that at least a couple prominent athletes are coming off the list.

In a letter that came to light over the weekend, the sports ministry spoke about the appreciation for national service of one of those athletes, in particular, while stating that this would indeed be the final subvention payment period for said athlete.

The veteran athlete, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the move by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture doesn’t come as a major surprise, but added that he/she was training in preparation for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and will now have to reconsider those plans.

Athletes are recommended for subvention by their respective federations and the list is approved by the ministry. When it was announced in the House of Assembly during the budget debate by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle, it was expected that there would be some major adjustments in short order. Guardian Sports can now reveal that at least a couple athletes are in their final months of subvention payments. In letters dated from as early as July, they received their official notification.

National Sports Director Timothy Munnings said in a letter that was revealed over the weekend that in collaboration with the national federation, it had been determined that the athlete’s participation in the national subvention program has reached its maturity.

“This note will serve as your notice that your subvention payments will be discontinued commencing this fiscal period, July 2020,” it read. “The ministry is extremely proud of your stellar athletic career and accomplishments. Your international achievements have been broadcasted around the world. We are pleased that the government’s Athlete Subvention Program has in some way contributed to your rise to international acclaim and we are confident that those who follow in your footsteps will enjoy the same opportunities as you. On behalf of a proud and grateful nation, we congratulate you and wish you continued success in your athletic endeavors and future goals.”

According to reports, none of the athletes who have been removed from the Athlete Subvention Program have officially retired from athletic competition. In fact, a couple were still training for the Olympics which is now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021, still in Tokyo, Japan.

Munnings, who couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday, further stated in the letter that in lieu of the required three months official notice, corresponding subvention payments will be provided for the current three-month period.

At this time, it is unknown if any athletes were added to the Athlete Subvention Program, but with the removal of at least a couple who are at the top tier of the program, the government is accounting for about $50,000 of the projected $300,000 cuts for this fiscal period.

It remains to be seen what other adjustments will be made.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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