As the 2016 Rio Olympics quickly approaches, FLOW, one of the biggest telecommunication giants on the island has entered into a five year partnership with the Barbados Olympic Association [BOA] worth $500,000.
This will be disbursed $100,000 per year over the next five years to the BOA in an effort to aid in the development of sports on the island.
Managing director at FLOW Barbados, Niall Sheehy presented the cheque this morning to BOA president Steve Stoute during a Press conference at their Wildey headquarters.
Also in attendance were BOA vice-president, Ralph Johnson, executive member to the board of the World Olympians Association Freida Nicholls and local athletes vying for a spot at the Olympic Games next year.
Stoute described the partnership with FLOW as being the most lucrative of its kind for the BOA involving any private sector entity on the island. He pleaded for more investors to come on board, while arguing that winning went way beyond just talent.
He insisted that financial support was integral if Barbados’ athletes were to be successful on the international stage.
“I constantly proclaim that we should be celebrating the fact that our small country is lucky enough to have athletes that can qualify for the Olympics despite the fact that we do not have the level of financial support which is at the disposal of larger, wealthier countries,” said Stoute who is also the chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees.
Additionally, FLOW also unveiled a flat screen television, as well as offering a dedicated network television service for people around the Caribbean to see local and regional athletes compete at the 2016 Olympics.
“Coverage will be carried by FLOW and CBC [Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation] with ESPN [Entertainment and Sports Programming Network] as the lead broadcaster of an additional 12 channels covering every sport in progress during the games. So if you would prefer to watch equestrian or swimming you would simply tune in to the equestrian channel either on your television or hand-held device.
“ESPN is the lead broadcaster and will be selecting or have already selected regional personnel to do the commentaries and the analysis of the game. So FLOW will be talking with the various sporting committees in the islands with respect to establishing similar relations,” Stoute explained.
On behalf of his company Sheehy said they believed in the Olympic’s values of friendship, respect and excellence as well as in the power of sport to positively change lives.
“We want to be involved in the Olympic family and play a big part, being involved with the athletes in other ways besides cash. I would like to commend the Barbados Olympic Association for promoting the spirit of Olympics in Barbados, by developing a national sports agenda that encompasses sport for all by facilitating training courses for sports administrators, officials and athletes and the promotion of fair play in the fight against doping,”he said.