NATIONAL Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) has pumped almost $150,000 in funds to the sporting programme at the University of TT (UTT). The funds will help the university’s men’s and women’s football teams purchase uniforms for their trip to Mexico for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Americas Tournament from May 31 to June 10.
Last Thursday, a cheque worth $145,000 was handed over by NLCB to UTT at the NLCB corporate box at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.
Susan Worrell, marketing and public relations officer at NLCB, attended the press conference.
Eight men’s and women’s teams will compete in the tournament in Mexico with the top two teams in each category advancing to the International University World Cup in China in 2021. Universities from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and the US will also be represented in the qualifying tournament.
Ian Pritchard, senior manager of sports and recreation at the high performance programme at UTT, said, “We are extremely grateful and very, very thankful to NLCB for their assistance towards not just our sporting teams but to help with us with the development of our young athletes that we work to develop towards making them national athletes.” NLCB’s funding will be mainly used to buy uniforms for the sports teams at UTT that include football, netball, cricket, basketball, volleyball, track and field and table tennis.
Pritchard said UTT will be taking on fund raising initiatives for the Mexico trip including a virtual 5K, a soccer picnic, a boat ride and a barbeque.
Pritchard is counting on financial support so UTT can continue developing national athletes. “We have the track record to show how many national athletes we have created and developed in every discipline of sport at UTT.”
Several top local and regional athletes have attended UTT including TT table tennis ace Curtis Humphreys, TT netballer Samantha Wallace, West Indies leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jnr and a number of national volleyball players. UTT also has top coaches at their disposal including former West Indies cricketer Tony Gray and former national footballer Clayton Morris.