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Jun 6, 2022

9 Athletes Received Olympic Scholarships to Prepare for Paris 2024

 This afternoon, nine athletes signed contracts for Olympic Scholarships in preparation for Paris 2024. It was held at the Olympic House on Princess Margaret Drive where five track and field athletes, two cyclists, one sailing and one judo athlete will now be able to finance their training and improve their skills in the hopes to compete at the Olympic Games in the next two years. News Five’s Duane Moody was there along with representatives from the various associations who proudly stood watch as their athletes received much needed support.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was a proud moment for seven of the nine athletes who were present for the official signing of the scholarships. From age seventeen and up, and after a rigorous process, these athletes from various disciplines were chosen by a selection committee to benefit from monies to be used for their training and nutrition over the next two years


Hilly Martinez

Hilly Martinez, President, Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association

“One athlete will be getting five hundred U.S. per month; six will be getting seven hundred and fifty U.S. per month and two will be getting twelve hundred and fifty U.S. per month. It is broken down in one from sailing association, one from Judo association, two from cycling and five from athletics.”


Duane Moody

“How did this come about?”


Hilly Martinez

“This program is from the Olympic Solidarity Program. It is not the first time, but it’s the first time it is being ran this way.”


The contract for the monthly financial support comes with commitments from the athletes and their respective national federations/associations – conduct, anti-doping, training and more. Two of the athletes, namely Hilary Gladden and Shaun Gill are benefiting from the scholarship for a second time.  Twenty-nine-year-old Gill is studying Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He says that with the support, he will likely make it to Paris 2024.


Shaun Gill

Shaun Gill, Athletics

“The biggest thing about it is that it really allows you to focus on your training. As the guys mentioned earlier, simple things like getting to training, catching a bus, a train, a taxi or in my case a uber, this fund comes in very handy and it really allows you to focus on your training. I believe for me that’s why I’ve seen the results I saw last year and last season. The rules always state, similar to the scholarship, you have to perform. So same in America, if you are not performing academically, you can’t run and you need to run so you can stay in school cause it goes hand in hand. You just go through the challenges every day and it is not easy, but you find a way.”


Twin sisters, Ashantie and Ashontie Carr returned from Jamaica back in January where they were studying and training in track and field. They were both successful with their application for the Olympic Scholarship.


Ashantie Carr

Ashantie Carr, Athletics

“Financially it is going to help us a lot. We have been training in Jamaica. We came back January to continue our education online and continue training here which will be easier for us because training and school across Jamaica it is very hard to balance both. So we just chose to be here and with the financial help, it will taek us a long way.”


Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old cyclist Derrick Chavarria has been riding for ten years and says that he will put in the work.


Derrick Chavarria

Derrick Chavarria, Cyclist

“It’s my first time on this scholarship. I believe it will help a lot since cycling is really an expensive sport. It includes mechanical issues you may have. Other sports include nutrition and training, etc.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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