Prime Minister David Thompson, presenting World Championship gold medallist hurdler??with the keys to a new SUV.

A National Board of Trustees will be created to oversee the preparation of World Championship gold medallist hurdler, Ryan Brathwaite’s "preparation on the road to London".

This was revealed yesterday by Prime Minister David Thompson, as he addressed the audience at the Welcome Home Reception for Ryan.

In making the announcement, Mr. Thompson noted that one of the errors that had been made with previous athletes, was that after their initial success, an enabling environment was not created "to support their continued training and pursuit of excellence".

He added: "This will not happen with or to Ryan Brathwaite. He is starting, as of tomorrow, on the road to the Olympics and he will need professional help, dietary supplements and financial assistance to see him through the next three years of preparation."

The Prime Minister explained that the committee would be charged with advising government on the appropriate strategies for enabling him to access the best available professional help in his holistic preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

"This package of assistance will include, but not be limited to, assistance with any professional training, as well as all the expenses associated with dietary requirements, subsistence, partial travel and all categories of personal development, academic, speech and otherwise," he outlined.

Stressing that government understood the importance of sports to national development, Mr. Thompson expressed government’s commitment to the development of a sports industry in Barbados. He said a wide range of sports, both old and familiar ones, as well as new ones like polo, would be developed.

"First, we shall complete our National Sports Policy. Next, we will ensure that adequate training is available at all levels. Then, we shall focus on enhancing our sports tourism product as a means of financing this industry," Prime Minister Thompson remarked.

In addition, he noted that the National Youth Policy which had been asked for since 1995 would be completed by September next year.

Observing there were "many more Ryan Brathwaites out there in Barbados, Mr. Thompson gave the assurance that government would do all that was humanly possible to help them realise their potential. ????

"To the athletes of Barbados, my simple message to you is that you have chosen a noble, highly appreciated and rewarding profession. Take a leaf out of Ryan Brathwaite’s book and choose your sport carefully, train hard, compete fearlessly … and gold will be yours," the Prime Minister advised.

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