BUDGET 2021: $1.5B for sport; professional training for athletes and coaches
Sport has been given a major boost with $1.5 billion budgeted to facilitate development programmes throughout the country.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh told the National Assembly during his budget presentation Friday that of the overall amount, $915.5 million is allocated for the improvement of community grounds countrywide, to expand their use as parks, and create premium, multi-purpose, sporting facilities of international standards in Regions Two, Six and 10.
Other improvements include the installation of lights on community grounds, laying of synthetic materials at the athletic tracks in New Amsterdam and Wismar, and upgrading of other sport facilities.
The Finance Minister added that the sum of $618 million will be utilised to host tournaments, maintain sport facilities and support select sport associations.
Of this amount, $320 million is budgeted towards professional training of athletes and coaches as part of the “Sports Academy” programme, Dr. Singh said during his 2021 budget presentation.
Subject Minister Charles Ramson Jr. has said on numerous occasions that the administration is keen on creating a pathway for the country’s sportsmen and women to excel, and that tournaments would be a key driver of development.
Since taking office in August 2020, Minister Ramson and his team have been on several outreaches, inspecting venues and collaborating with local clubs to improve on those facilities. The Minister has also been engaging in dialogue with national associations on the way forward.