Sports Minister Darryl Smith says Government would consider hosting international sports conferences as a means of diversifying the economy in these trying economic times.
“Why can’t we host a Fifa conference here?” he asked in his contribution to the budget debate on Friday. “Why can’t we host an ICC (International Cricket Council) conference? It does not have to be a T20.”
Smith said venues such as the Hyatt Regency and other suitable establishments, with the requisite room stock, could be utilised to host sport conferences.
“Business of the sport is something we are targeting.”
Smith said seminars for coaches, umpires and referees also must be placed on the front burner.
“That is another part of sport we have totally ignored.”
Smith said despite a marked drop in his ministry’s allocation, Trinidad and Tobago still managed to make its mark on the international sporting landscape within the last year.
“This year, the ministry got an allocation of $302 million. In 2016, we were allocated $325 million but actually got in releases of $243 million.
“So, we had a little drop off there. So, just like the year before when we got $600 million and a drop to 325 million, we were able with that drop to have what most people have said and what the sports company and the ministry calibrated, the most successful year in sport in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Smith said TT has never won so many events in non-traditional sports.
“We tend to calibrate success in sport only in making it to World Cup or winning medals in the Olympics. But there are 50 plus sports that are registered with the Ministry of Sports and over 100 sports that are registered in Trinidad and Tobago that we don’t recognise.
The Diego Martin Central MP also said Cabinet has given the green light for a new youth policy.