BFIT has launched a funding program aimed at assisting triathletes who are at various stages of development. “The return to competition post COVID has brought race opportunities back online in the region and internationally.  After two years of uncertainty and little racing there is a need to invest and reinvigorate the development pipeline, therefore as a National Federation we are trying our best to support and assist athletes with scarce resources we have.  Although the funding providing won’t cover all the costs of being a competitive triathlete we believe every little bit helps as athletes progress along the development pathway in their pursuit of excellence.” said BFIT President, Darren Treasure
This increase in investment has been designed to align with BFIT’s strategy of continuous athlete growth and development in mind. To facilitate this initiative, BFIT has allocated the sum of BBD 15,000 which will be disbursed to those athletes who applied and have been approved by a sub-committee. The new Athlete Funding Policy identifies four categories of funding, the Elite category (ages 19+) which awards $3.750, the Collegiate Juniors category (ages 19 to 23) awards $6000, the Developing Juniors category (ages 16 to 19) $3,750 and Emerging Youth category (ages 13 to 15) $1,500 in the calendar year.
Athletes were invited to apply for funding in June 2022, and a total of four applications were received and reviewed, four of which were approved by a sub-committee of BFIT. Matthew Wright is one of the initial recipients named to the Elite category following his commendable performance at the 2022 Birmingham Games where is placed 17th from a pool of 46 competitors in the Elite Men Triathlon event and most recently took 1st place at the World Triathlon event in Jordan.  Niel Skinner is a student-athlete at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina who is currently competing for the school’s men’s varsity triathlon team, he has been awarded funding in the Collegiate Junior category. Additionally, rising stars Luke McIntyre and Cain Banfield close out this year’s funding recipients in the Emerging Youth category.
The triathletes awarded funding must meet certain conditions and maintain satisfactory performances as detailed in the Athlete Funding Policy. For example, athletes eligible for funding in the Elite Category would have established a world ranking and have demonstrated the potential to medal at World Triathlon-sanctioned events. For the Collegiate Juniors, eligible triathletes are those who are college triathletes trying to establish a world ranking and demonstrate the potential to medal at regional and collegiate events. These triathletes will be training and competing while attending a post-secondary institution.  The other two categories look at regional performances and other development events.  Additionally all applicants are measured against benchmark swim and run times when the quantum of funding is being determined.
Mr. Treasure noted that “this additional investment towards athlete funding will assist athletes with costs associated with travel, race fees, accommodation and the like.” This adds to the existing Junior Emerging Athlete Program (JEAP), another athlete development program launched in 2019 that caters to Under 23 athletes to create a supportive, challenging, and inspiring environment to help aid and guide athlete development and prepare them for the rigors of triathlon training in a post-secondary environment.
Mr. Treasure added, “we have seen the benefits of the JEAP program as past participants Niel Skinner, Zhara Gaskin, Chara Hinds and Kayla Renwick all of whom were a part of the program, have all gained triathlon scholarships at universities in the USA.” 
BFIT continues to have an active yearly calendar catering to participants of all levels and ages, with national events such as the National Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon events, along with the BFIT Kids Series. Recently, BFIT held the Ray Bayley Mixed-Relay Event at the Aquatic Center on Sunday, August 21st, 2022. The annual event named after former BFIT President Mr. Ray Bayley, attracted many new faces which aligns with one of  BFIT’s goals, that is to grow the sport of triathlon not only in Barbados, but also in the region. With the CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships set to take place in Bermuda on November 12 & 13 BFIT will get a good look at the level of talent of the athletes from Barbados compared to others in the Caribbean region.  BFIT is hoping the development events and support being offered locally will be a catalyst for attracting new athletes to the triathlon and furthering the development of promising triathletes currently in the sport.  The ability to compete locally and abroad is a vital part of development and will be particularly valuable in preparation for qualification for the Multi-Sport Games which will take place in 2023 such as CAC Games, Pan Am Games and Youth Commonwealth Games.
If anyone is interested in learning more about triathlon and the opportunities within the sport they are encouraged to contact the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes Inc. at