The BOA is set to invest more than BBD1.6 million into its athletes this year ©BOA

The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) has ushered in a new funding regime, with an investment of around BBD1.6million (£608,000/$792,500/€728,600) set to go directly to athletes this year.

An announcement came during the governing body's first in-person press conference since 2020 at the Olympic Centre, where it was also stated that the Annual Athlete Funding Subsidy Programme will continue for the 2021-2024 Olympic cycle.

The increased investment is designed to help with the restart of sporting activities in the country and preparations for Paris 2024.

"I want to assure all that the BOA is extremely excited and confident of successfully maintaining this initiative, while at the same time working assiduously to attract additional funding for our new Road to Paris 2024 Programme and other segments of our annual funding subsidy," said BOA vice-president Cameron Burke.

A performance-based programme is due to be implemented, with athletes needing to maintain satisfactory performances to get funding.

"To facilitate this initiative, the BOA has allocated the sum of BBD960,000 (£365,000/$475,000/€437,000) of which 19 per cent will represent the contribution from Olympic Solidarity," Burke said.

Cameron Burke says the BOA is working to secure additional funding to help send Barbados' athletes to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ©BOA
Cameron Burke says the BOA is working to secure additional funding to help send Barbados' athletes to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ©BOA

"These funds will be disbursed among 12 athletes identified and approved by their National Federations and the BOA.

"This initial investment in these successful athletes will be for the period January 1 to December 31 2022."

Runner Sada Williams is one of the initial recipients on the elite programme following a performance at Tokyo 2020 which saw her set a new national record of 50.11sec in the women's 400 metres.

Track and field athletes Tia Adana Belle, Akela Jones, Shane Brathwaite, Mario Burke, Tristan Evelyn and Jonathan Jones are also among the 12.

Boxer Jabali Breedy, swimmer Danielle Titus, triathlete Mathew Wright, cyclist Amber Joseph and surfer Chelsea Tuach complete the athletes approved for the funding.

Sums of BDD150,000 (£57,000/$74,000/€68,000), BDD205,000 (£78,000/$101,500/€93,000) and BDD340,000 (£129,000/$168,000/€154,000) have been earmarked for the BOC's athlete funding in high-performance, developing and emerging categories, respectively.

There are five athletes in the high-performance group and 27 in the developing category.

The emerging category will fund the National Federation Emerging Athletes Junior Development Programme, which is open to athletes under the age of 23.