Trinidad and Tobago’s leading female distance athlete Tonya Nero will warm up for her first appearance at the Commonwealth Games by participating in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain on 24 March.
Having qualified for the multi-sport event last year, the national half-marathon record-holder is hoping that the outing will improve her chances of establishing a new national record when she runs out for T&T at the Games, scheduled to come off in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
The athlete’s participation in the Spain Championships has been made possible through a grant of TT$37,246.60 to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for her and her coach. Receiving the cheque of behalf of the NAAA, General Secretary Dexter Voisin said that the 28–year-old 5’2″distance runner “has been knocking at the door for some time and is well poised now to cement her place on the world stage.”
The cheque was part of the disbursement of subventions totalling TT$294,680.10 made to three National Governing Bodies (NGBs) by the Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago on Friday. The funding is intended to enable national athletes, teams and coaches to participate in various events and the NGBs are required to submit the relevant justification as part as an annual operational plan.
Also receiving TT$168,421.50 was the Trinidad and Tobago Tennis Association (TennisTT), which is currently being represented by three athletes at the World Junior Tennis tournament in Guatemala. Among them is 2018 Tranquillity Tennis champion Aidan Carter, who is expected to take part in the ITF/Cotecc Trinity Cup, due to be hosted at the National Racquet Sport Centre in Tacarigua from 6-14 Aprii, 2018.
TennisTT Treasurer Dexter Mahase, who received the cheque on behalf of his organisation said that TennisTT is “on a drive to raise the level of tennis while positioning Trinidad and Tobago as a regional hub for the sport.” The need to see the sport develop locally, he pointed out, is what explains the desire to host junior tournaments.
The 2oth Jean Pierre Youth Netball Tournament will take place in St Lucia this year and Trinidad and Tobago will be sending a 17-member team. Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association (TTNA) PRO Lynette Duncan who was on hand to collect for the last of the three NGBs receiving cheques on the day expressed gratitude for the grant of the TT$89,012.00 received by the TTNA.
“We are always proud to be a part of an event initiated by a national icon,” she said, in reference to the former sport minister who led T&T to its first world title in 1979, “and are looking to return to winning ways, based on the new coaching staff we have brought on board.”
The Jean Pierre Youth Netball tournament features over 300 U16 girls from 16 countries and is the nursery for the sport in the region. Trinidad and Tobago last won the tournament when the country played hosts in 2006.