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National Lotteries assistance for Olympians

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The National Lotteries Authority (NLA) has again demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that this country and its athletes are exposed to sporting events at the highest level.
This time the NLA is assisting local athletes and officials in this country’s participation in the 2004 Olympics to be held in Athens, Greece.{{more}}
On Monday, Marketing Manager of the National Lotteries Authority Kumar Persaud presented a cheque worth $25,000 to National Olympic Committee’s Treasurer Clare Thomas.
Thomas, on receiving the cheque on behalf of the NOC, expressed gratitude to the NLA for its continued assistance to the development of sports. She expressed hope that the athletes would perform well at the Athens Olympics, adding that the country’s greatest hope in bringing back a medal was US-based sprinter, Natasha Mayers, who will compete in the 100 and 200 metres races. She also said that the NOC was confident that St. Lucia-based swimmer, Donnie De Freitas, who will compete in the 50m free-style and open races, will also bring back a medal.
Persaud underscored the NLA’s commitment to assisting athletes, recalling that the NLA had also provided funds to the tune of $25,000 to the NOC for last year’s participation in the Pan American Games, which were quite successful for this country’s athletes.
An entourage consisting of three competing athletes, two camping athletes and five officials will represent this country in Athens.
The competing athletes are: Natasha Mayers (100m and 200m), Andrew Grant (800m) and Donnely DeFreitas (50m freestyle swimming). The camping athletes are 400m specialist Kineke Alexander and shot putt specialist Adonson Shallow.
The officials are: Chief of Mission Gloria Ballantyne; athletics and track and field coach, Rawlson Morgan; Mayers’ coach, Mahasse Cornelius, who is based in Los Angeles; her chaperone Des-Marie Grenaway; and DeFreitas’ coach, Rick-Deane Alexander.
Two members of the travelling team left here on Monday and the others were expected to leave last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the NLA has also assisted the local Amateur Athletics Association (SVGAAA). The NLA’s marketing manager presented a cheque for $6,000 to the SVGAAA’s Games Secretary Rawlston Morgan last Monday. The contribution was in lieu of this country’s participation in the recently concluded North American and Caribbean Athletics Championships (NACAC) in Canada, which took place from July 29 to August 2.
Morgan thanked the NLA for its assistance. He raised the issue of the lack of adequate facilities for athletics training. He said that the Arnos Vale Playing Field is usually utilised, but when cricket matches are played there then it is unavailable and athletes have to go to Sion Hill Playing Field to train. He said the surface at Sion Hill is harder than that at Arnos Vale, but there are uneven areas and some athletes have sustained injuries.

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