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May 24, 2020

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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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THE TT boxing and netball teams can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs has come forward in the nick of time to provide the necessary funding for their respective tournaments.

The netballers received a cheque worth $227,843.23 for accommodation at the 2019 Netball World Cup which will be held in Liverpool, England, from July 12-21.

The national boxers received $210,000 from the Ministry for accommodation and airline tickets for the Pan Am Games qualifiers in Nicaragua, from Tuesday until April 11. Nine boxers, including Olympian Nigel Paul and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Michael Alexander, will be attending the Pan Am qualifiers in Nicaragua along with three officials.

The TT team also includes Aaron Prince, Justin Parris, Anthony Joseph, Andrew Fermin, Shakir Flemming, Tyron Thomas and Tianna Guy. The coaches are Reynold Cox and Rolston Dopwell, along with manager Cecil Forde.

Cox said, "We definitely happy (for the funding) because these qualifiers are very important for us this year...we got airline tickets and accommodation – they will cover those costs."

Cox said the Pan Am qualifiers will help the TT boxers improve their rankings which will help when the 2020 Olympic qualifiers are held. "It is actually to give them ranking points in their world rankings and it will help them at the Olympic qualifiers if they are better ranked," Cox said.

Dr Patricia Butcher, president of the TT Netball Association, was also thankful for the money.

"We thank God that we are able to pay (today) by the deadline date," Dr Butcher said.

Butcher is hopeful that TT, joint winners of the 1979 World Cup held in TT, will improve on its world rankings at the 2019 World Cup.

"Of course, that is what we are looking for and we have a very dedicated team with experience and youth. When we played at the (Americas Netball World Cup) qualifiers we won and then when we played Jamaica in a series after that and we put up a very good showing, so that was a great incentive and motivation for the team and they are really training hard. We just ask God for the best results at the end of day."

Dr Butcher said the team wants to have some warm-up matches before the tournament begins. "On the way to the World Cup we plan to pass through England to play a couple games – Wales and one other. We are organising that so they will get that practice before they get to Liverpool."

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