Olympic Committee Goes to Elections; President Says Belize Wants to Win
Over the weekend, a new board was elected for the Belize Olympic Committee. The national committee holds elections every four years after the Olympic Games. It’s a requirement to be affiliated with the International Olympic Committee which funds various sports programs annually in member countries, including Belize. Belize is allocated one hundred and twenty-five thousand U.S. dollars annually to finance individual national associations and allows the country to tap into international human resources to improve sports in Belize. On Saturday, various sports associations gathered at the Radisson Fort George for a report for the past four years on what’s ahead for Belize and the upcoming Commonwealth Olympic Games and Central American Games in which Belize will be able to compete.
Hilberto Martinez, President, Olympic Committee
“During 2013 to 2017 or end of 2016, the National Olympic Committee has assisted every single federation that had applied and the assistance came up to over a million Belize dollars, five hundred thousand U.S. dollars, in assisting each federation in participating in events. But what we need now is program for development. Like I said, the days of participation I think is day’s bygone. We need to be competing and to be competing and representing Belize at a higher level and for medals. For the Youth Commonwealth Games there are athletics, cycling, tennis and those are the disciplines allocated to us. We have spoke to each federation to try and select a number of young athletes so that they can be training from now so that when they go to the Youth Olympic Games, they are properly prepared and properly coached so that the training is there. We want them to be representing Belize in the best of shape and we have said that if they need financial assistance in certain areas that we can help, we are prepared to do it. As far as the Central American Games are concerned, that’s one event that like I said, you don’t need to qualify. It is opened for each sport, but it does not necessarily mean that each sport will be going. We are not going to send disciplines that are just…that time has to stop. It is expensive; those games will cost us about two hundred and fifty dollars to send everybody to Nicaragua. But the associations, the national federations will also have to pull their own weight in preparing the athletes.”