MSCD RESPONDS TO THE 4X100 RELAY TEAM’S CONCERNS
The Ministry of Sport and Community Development acknowledges the concerns of the 2008 Olympic men’s 4 x 100 relay team about rewards and incentives after being upgraded from a silver medal to a gold medal during a press conference hosted by the athletes. The 2008 Olympic team was awarded the gold medal fifteen (15) years after the Games were held in Beijing, China after one of the athletes on the first-placed team tested positive for a banned substance.
In the absence of a policy for rewards and recognition, each member of the 4×100 relay team received $500,000 cash and $250,000 in Unit Trust units for their sporting accomplishments in 2008. In addition, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago recognised this outstanding achievement by conferring the honour of Chaconia Medal Gold on each member of the relay team.
Under the National Incentives and Rewards Framework, which was developed in consultation with athletes and their national governing bodies, T&T individual athletes are rewarded $1 million for gold medals, $500,000 for silver medals, and $250,000 for bronze medals at the Olympic Games. According to the policy, T&T athletic teams are awarded $500,000 for gold medals, $250,000 for silver medals, and $125,000 for bronze medals.
It is important to note that the members of the 2008 relay team received a total of $750,000 each for their silver medal achievement in 2008. This is more than the $500,000.00 reward currently obtained under the approved National Incentives and Rewards Framework.
The National Incentives and Rewards Framework was implemented in 2018 as a structured policy for awarding national athletes who have won medals at specific major regional and international competitions. Even as the National Incentives and Rewards Framework was implemented in 2018, athletes who had medalled between 2015-2017 were also rewarded. From time to time, this policy has been revised and expanded to include the CAC Games in 2018, the Special Olympics World Games in 2019, and the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2022.
The Ministry of Sport and Community Development intends to begin consultations in preparation for the review of the National Policy on Sport during the next year. This will provide an opportunity for athletes, national governing bodies, and other relevant stakeholders to contribute to the process.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago continues to support and recognize sport development and athletic excellence. The Ministry of Sport and Community Development remains committed to honouring our most accomplished and esteemed sportsmen and women as they represent our country with distinction and show the world the true constitution of courage, commitment, perseverance, and grit.
As The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) prepares to roll out the Ministry’s Sport in Schools programme during the upcoming school year, we look forward to working hand in hand with our star athletes to promote sport for all and advance a culture of excellence.