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Top athletes get funding boost

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Three of Bermuda's top athletes have landed a sponsorship boost after receiving funding from Bermuda Healthcare Services.

Tyrone Smith, Tre Houston and Aaron Evans have each been handed $4,000 as part of a 12-month sponsorship package from the Paget-based medical centre.

The trio all represented Bermuda at this summer's Pan Am Games in Toronto, with Smith finishing fourth in the long jump final with a leap of 8.07 metres.

Smith will be making his third appearance at the Olympics in Rio next summer.

“We expect Tyrone to do even better [at the Olympics] than he did in his last performance”, said Dr Ewart Brown, the medical director at Bermuda Healthcare Services.

“Tre Houston is making great strides in his career and we look forward to his performances in Rio.”

Dr Brown added: “It's expensive for an athlete to train and get the kind of specialised help that's available, to get the kind of medical care that is available.

“[Sponsoring athletes] is something that we think we should do every year and we will continue to do it as long as we can.”

Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, believes the financial assistance provided by Bermuda Healthcare Services will help the trio reach their Olympic goals in Rio.

Smith and sprinter Houston have already qualified for next summer's competition.

“It's very difficult to get funding and we appreciate that [Dr Brown] continues to assist our athletes in their pursuit to be the best they can be,” she said.

Aaron Evans, who is based in Eugene, Oregon, said the financial boost would help in his bid to qualify for Rio.

“I think I can speak for all of the athletes when I say this could not come at a better time with the Olympics approaching,” said Evans, who runs the 800 metres.

“My training is going very well at the moment. I'm hoping to do a training camp later this month in Bahamas, and that will be a good step forward.

“I think I will be able to run a 1:46 flat, which is the Olympic qualifying time.”

Evans finished sixth in the 800 at the Pan Am Games in a time of 1min 49.07sec. Houston, who is based in his namesake city in the United States, missed out on qualifying for the 200 metres semi-finals in Toronto after finishing fourth in his heat.

Dr Brown, executive chairman of Bermuda HealthCare Services, presents three Bermudian elite athletes with a $4,000 sponsorship. (from left) Aaron Evans (800m), Donna Raynor-Watson, president of the BNAA receives award on behalf of Smith and on behalf of sprinte Houston, his parents Stacey and Lloyd Van Putten (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 23, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 22, 2015 at 8:52 pm)

Top athletes get funding boost

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