Loomis: Funding woes persist

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By Neto Baptiste

National track & field athlete, Priscilla Loomis (formerly Frederick), said despite a decision to forego retirement from international competition, funding woes she faced prior to the 2019 World Championships still persist.

In an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media, Loomis noted that upon her decision to sideline retirement plans, she went the route of securing a personal loan in order to finance her bit to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It is what it is at this point. My husband and I spoke and he took out a personal loan to fund me and to make sure that I have whatever I need for funding so that was one of the biggest reasons why I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to even train, I knew I would not have been able to do it on the funding [from NOC],” she said.

Loomis, last week, said her decision to seek qualification for the 24th July to 9th August Games was driven by her desire to win a major games medal for Antigua and Barbuda.

One of several athletes receiving NOC Olympic Scholarship funding which pays out US $1,000 monthly, Loomis lamented that the disbursements are not always timely but that it affects all athletes currently on the programme.

“I know I am not the only athlete that had minimal funding and so, when we sat down and put our numbers out I had to take a step back a little bit from my business which my clients were totally okay with. So I worked four days per month to help with the rent where I lived, to train and then my husband took out the personal loan for the rest of the year to get me what I need in terms of clothing, shoes, medicine, gear, nutrition and all that,” the athlete said. No Antiguan athlete has yet qualified for the Tokyo Games.

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