THE National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) has launched its Athletes Welfare Fund with a collective injection of $20,000 from its board members.
Initial investments of $10,000 came from NAAA president George Comissiong and $5,000 each from ex-president Ephraim Serrette and newly elected board member, CEO and founder of LUHU Inc, Zwede Hewitt.
The Athletes Welfare Fund is intended to provide short-term, emergency type funding to deserving athletes.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Athletes Welfare Fund can do so by making cheques payable to NAAA or by direct deposit to the association's account 420505571201 at Republic Bank.
According to a statement issued by the NAAA on Wednesday, an airline ticket to Ohio was also presented to sprinter Leah Bertrand, "undoubtedly the country's highest performing female athlete in the Under-20 category for 2021."
Leah competed in the women's open category and has been unbeaten over 100m locally for the year. She has a personal best time of 11.52 seconds.
At the North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-18, Under-20 and Under-23 Championships in Costa Rica (July), Bertrand sprinted to 100m silver in 11.70s.
She later competed at World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya where she placed fourth in the second round of the 100m. Bertrand is one of only two local-based junior athletes to represent TT in 2021; the other being Shakeem McKay.
The youngster also won a full-scholarship from Ohio State University and is pursuing a degree in health sciences, hoping to pursue further studies in medicine afterwards.