...calls for creation of heroes park for athletes
PORT of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing is calling for the creation of a "heroes park" if the reward for athletes' achievements is going to the provision of houses.
Lee Sing made the statement yesterday as he called for the implementation of a standard procedure in the distribution of awards to successful athletes.
Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott was lavished with gifts from the State including a house valued at $2.5 million and $1 million in cash when he returned to the country from the London games on Monday.
"We need to be considerate in the things that we do and we need to spend time thinking out how we do things," Lee Sing said following an interfaith service hosted by the Port of Spain City Corporation in Woodford Square yesterday.
"If we begin with the end in mind we will not make the mistakes that we continue to make, but if the end in mind is merely to say the People's Partnership do it better that the People's National Movement (PNM) we will make mistakes," Lee Sing said.
Lee Sing said it is time for a policy to be to be put in place to replace the "vaps and piecemeal approach" that is currently being implemented.
"When you start off doing things with vaps and piecemeal approaches you have a situation where you give one athlete something and an athlete who may have contributed just as much gets nothing," Lee Sing said.
Lee Sing cited the accomplishment of the men's 4x100 relay team to highlight his point.
"How do you reward the men of our 4x100 metres relay team this being their second Olympics and they have done just as well. These young athletes have trained and committed their lives to the national flag, aren't they entitled to a house too?" Lee Sing said.
Kenny Bledman, the father of double Olympic medallist Keston Bledman, has told the Express he believed his son deserved the gift of a house from the State just like Walcott.
Bledman won bronze in London and silver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the men's 4x100 metres relay team.
"So if the criteria is that you are going to give them houses we must have a heroes park developed somewhere, we must spend time to build a place where all our athletes will be housed," Lee Sing.
"But there is no such policy in place so everything we do seems to be mass confusion," Lee Sing said.