Following T&T's best ever medal haul in the history of the Pan Amercian Games, the national track and field athletes received an added boost as Toyota has agreed to contribute $750,000 towards the T&T Olympic Committee's Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.
The announcement was made yesterday at the T&T Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
Toyota T&T Limited will contribute $150,000 per year for the next five years leading up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis said Toyota's involvement is timely after T&T won eight medals (three gold, three silver and two bronze) at the recently concluded Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. Speaking about Toyota's sponsorship, Lewis said, "In March this year Toyota Motor Corporation signed a historic agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to become a top partner. Toyota Motor Corporation is now a top partner of the IOC in the vehicle and mobility category.
"In T&T, Toyota has made a specific contribution to the ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024 for the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund during the course of the five-year partnership. In addition Toyota will become the official vehicle and mobility partner of the TTOC, supporting our transport needs where needed and within certain constraints."
Sean Shaffie, marketing manager at Toyota, said the president and CEO of Toyota signed on as an official Olympic sponsor for the 2020 Games, a deal reportedly valued at $835,000,000 US dollars. Shaffie stated this was one of the reasons Toyota T&T Limited decided to get involved.
Shaffie said: "Toyota T&T Limited is proud to announce this morning that for the next five years, starting today, we will be supporting our Olympic contingent via the T&T Olympic Committee to help them prepare for the 2020 Olympics. Not only because our parent company is an official Olympic sponsor, but because it is part of our burning desire to coordinate and contribute to Olympic success for our athletes."
Toyota's marketing manager said: "Achieving success has become a symbolic part of Toyota in T&T and in the rest of the world. We have been the number one selling branch for many years across the region and connecting our success with our Olympic athletes came naturally."
Shaffie said Toyota has always been a supporter of local athletes and culture. "Toyota T&T Limited has always been an advocate for sport and local culture. We have been supporting sporting initiatives and the arts since inception and continue to do so without hesitation.
"Our athletes are our pride and joy and we (corporate T&T) need to show our love and support to these young men and women. Give them the encouragement to make us all proud. Their committment gives us great pleasure."