Houston handed sponsorship boost
Tre Houston is in a race to raise sponsorship in his bid to qualify for the 2020 Toyko Olympic Games.
Houston has lost a portion of his funding from the Bermuda Olympic Association after dropping from an elite-level athlete to the B category.
The 28-year-old plans to train for Tokyo Olympics in Orlando, Florida — but needs to raise cash to support himself.
“I ended up coming back to Bermuda in 2017 and tried to train here but that just didn’t work,” said Houston, who was disappointed with his performance at Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.
He placed fourth in his 200 metres heat in a time of 21.67sec.
“This year, I plan to go to Orlando for off-season starting in November.”
Houston added he hoped to train in Orlando until the qualification period for the Tokyo event, which runs from March next year to July 2020.
He said he started running aged just eight — but did not become serious about competition until he was 16 and was picked to represent Bermuda on the international stage.
Houston later won a running scholarship at a college in Britain. “I turned pro at 19, so I finished up school in England,” said Houston, who competed in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016,
“I tried for my first Olympics in 2012 and fell short by two-tenths of a second for the 200 metres. Four years later, I made the 2016 Olympic team.”
He added that the top 80 runners in the world were accepted to run in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“I placed 60th out of 80 people which made me the 60th fastest person in the world for that year — that was a huge accomplishment for me,” said Houston, who was based in his namesake city in the United States before returning home last year.
Car dealers Continental Motors has agreed to sponsor Houston to do promotions with him.
Fernando Oliveira, owner of Continental Motors, said that the company had worked to get Houston more publicity.
He added that Continental Motors was “trying to gain more sponsors to promote a great upcoming athlete.”
“I think it would be great to encourage Bermuda youth into sports to promote community and wellbeing,” Oliveira said:
“When local people see a local superstar, it really ties the community together in a way that an international superstar could not.”
Houston said he was grateful for Oliveira’s sponsorship.
He added: “I am really hoping that people believe in me like he does, and want to jump on-board to support me.”