For the past two years Joan Quamina was on a public waiting list for knee replacement surgery. Her other option was to pay $85,000 to have it done privately, which she could not afford.
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UCI Satellite Centre coming
Diversification through sports in T&T may soon become a reality with the introduction of a UCI Satellite Centre at the National Cycling Centre.
Only days after the T&T Cycling Federation received the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award for being the top national sporting organisation at Friday’s First Citizens Sports Awards at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, its president, Robert Farrier, said his federation will pursue its objectives to be a driving force behind diversification in the country which he believes will be achieved through the satellite centre.
The centre will be similar to the UCI facility in Switzerland and will be used to accommodate international cyclists coming here to use the state-of-the art cycledrome at Couva at a cost.
Farrier said his federation is currently in the process of completing a business proposal to be sent to the world governing body for the sport—UCI, with a view to getting assistance to have it up and running soon.
“We have been in discussions with the UCI to mirror its facility in Switzerland. The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Sport Company of T&T are also giving its support to the initiative which will definitely bring in foreign currency to the country, particularly in these tough economic times,” Farrier explained. The local cycling boss explained that they will first look at holding pop-up cycling camps which will cater for regional and international cyclists in the short-term, by liaising with hotels and other organisations in the Couva area with rental facilities, as the T&T Cricket Board, saying the cyclists, their coaching staff and other supporters will be able to stay and train at the nearby cycledrome.
“This would provide businesses in the Couva area with opportunities through accommodation and food etc, so I hope they will embrace it.” In the long term Farrier said his federation will lobby for the construction of permanent staying facilities at the cycling centre and called out to other sporting organisation to do the same, saying the National Aquatic Centre right next to the cycling centre can be use in the same way.
Concerning the award his federation received on Friday, Farrier said it was an indication of the hard work by a full team of passionate executives paying off. He thanked the members of the general council for keeping his executive in check and reminded all that the cycling fraternity was made up of passionate people, some of whom have reached the highest level in the sport, as Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Elijah Greene, Njisane Phillip and Michael Phillip, among many others and noted he felt honoured to be leading an organisation with such people involved.