Two of Grenada’s top sporting athletes, leg-spinner with the West Indies Women Cricket Team, Afi Fletcher and CARIFTA gold medalist Anderson Peters will be getting support from the State.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs, Emmalin Pierre announced that $500,000 has been set aside by government to facilitate support for five sports person including the two.
According to Minister Pierre, the support will be in the form of education and housing for most athletes.
The decision, she said is to show appreciation for what the athletes have done for themselves and the country.
“Sometime I think we take for granted the extent of their contributions…each time their name is called, our country is recognized”, she said while noting “the marketing opportunity this provides to our country”, due to their exploits.
In the case of Afi Fletcher, Minister Pierre said government will be providing financial assistance to her in terms of home improvement and her enrollment in the Elite Programme within the Ministry of Sports.
“As a result of her enrollment there she would be involved in the development of Cricket in Grenada but at the same time, very importantly, I want to stress that through the programme there would be compulsory emphasis on her development in the sport”, she said.
“… It is not just about her providing a service but it (is) also about her training and development. So the programme basically would structure her time for training, it will also structure her time for personal development because of course we understand that she has made the team but that is not enough. We want to make sure that she stays on the team for as long as she can,” she added.
Minister Pierre stated that under the Elite programme, government will continue to engage the service of West Indies limited over specialist, Andre Fletcher.
“Currently under the Elite Programme, what happens is that those three persons who are engaged – Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Neilon Pascal – they are fully engaged in training, development programmes and they receive a stipend from the government (but) that does not include when they are out on business (with) the West Indies Cricket Board.
“…Government has decided to expand this to engage them in the support of the development programme for cricket. If it means working with the national team, Under-19 for example, working with the Kiddies Cricket Programme, working with a school in their community, working with a club in their community, they would also be engaged in that expanded way under the programme.
The female government minister disclosed that government will be giving educational and housing support for the family of West Indies Under-19 Fast Bowler, Ryan John.
“Ryan has decided to travel to Barbados to further his education and to further his work as it relates to development of his cricketing career. Government has also decided to provide financial assistance to make that possible,” she said.
The exceptional performance of Javelin thrower Peters at the recent 2016 CARIFTA games in the Spice Isle has resulted in government taking the decision to give support to both him and his family.
Minister Pierre said: “Anderson (Peters) is supported and his family is supported in the area of housing as well and in addition to that Anderson has decided that he wants to remain at home to continue his studies and government has committed to footing the cost of his studies”.
She added that government has taken the decision to standardise an incentive package for the country’s outstanding sportsmen and women.
“What we are seeking to do is formalise that incentive package, whereby it will be standardized, the support that will be provided to various persons who perform exceptionally well on the level that they have performed at,” Minister Pierre told reporters.