media_artricles :: 2018
The Southern Games is back on: Sports Ministry steps in with $$Garth Wattley :: Trinidad Express :: 08.03.2018
This year's edition of the annual Southern Games sport meet carded for March 18 is officially on as scheduled.
A release from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs (MSYA) on Wednesday has indicated that the Games' 54th edition, which was called off on February 20 due to a lack of funding, will go ahead as planned following an infusion of funds from the ministry and other corporate sponsors.
Last week, chairman of the Southern Games Organising Committee, Jim Clarke told Express that the decision to cancel the event stemmed from marquee sponsor Petrotrin not being in a position to pledge their usual support, and the inability to get other corporate sponsors to fill the void left by Petrotrin.
Clarke however, said he was grateful for the intervention of Trinidad and Tobago's first Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford, who he said was able to rally some businesses to partner with the Ministry of Sports to make the event happen.
"Hasely played an integral role by calling the Minister of Sports as well as sponsors we never had on board before. With that happening, we called some of our regular sponsors like TECU Credit Union and PLIPDECO and was able to confirm their customary support."
Clarke said the one-day meet will place the highlight on local sporting personnel.
"We are really focusing on the development of our young athletes and cyclists, however, next year we would want a return of international competitors."
On Wednesday Sports Minister Darryl Smith presented a cheque in the sum of $150,000 to Carol Grandison, Event Coordinator of the Southern Games, to assist in the staging of the event.
Crawford, who was present at the ceremony, said: "I am a product of the Southern Games and these Games are the warm-up for the CARIFTA Games, taking place at the end of March."
A former champion at multiple editions of the Games, Crawford recounted a host of internationally and locally renowned athletes who would have participating at the Games over the years, citing the names of international athletes Bob Hayes and Bruce Jenner, as well as local heroes Roger Gibbon, Edwin Roberts and Hilton Mitchell, among others.
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Sports Minister Darryl Smith, left, presents a cheque for $150,000 to Southern Games event coordinator Carol Grandison, centre, at the St Clair's Head Office of the Ministry of Sports on Wednesday. Sports Ambassador Hasely Crawford is at right.