Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis has revealed that the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund has reached an estimated $300,000, nearly two weeks after he completed his 26.2 mile walk in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon to raise awareness for the initiative.

But the TTOC is not resting on its laurels and is pushing to keep the momentum going, with a goal of soon reaching the $500,000 original target. Lewis also said that to be sustainable and to reach a wide range of athletes, the fund will have to gene­rate $6 million a year.

“To date, just under TT$300,000 has been raised for #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. I have to continue the efforts to raise awareness and funding.” Lewis said.

“I want to create the environment where young athletes can dream of being Olympic champions and feel confident that they will be supported by the TTOC. I have a duty, obligation and responsibility as TTOC president to nurture and make possible their dreams; #10golds24 is real! The Marathon walk was a metaphor for #10golds24 and what is required—teamwork and support.”

Lewis said when he came into office, he saw as the need to invigorate and revitalise the TTOC brand from a commercial perspective as “ the TTOC brand was failing to live up to its potential”.

Lewis said while the Olympic brand had stood the test of time and he had confidence in the brand vision, the TTOC conducted a strategic review of how it marketed, promoted and managed its brand

“In Trinidad and Tobago, the TTOC has exclusive authority over the Olympic franchise. The TTOC in monetising the potential of its franchise has to do so on its own terms, maintaining its identity and not compromising its core values. We have to use the power of sport and the Olympic franchise as a marketing, promotional and brand building tool in spearheading the review and transformation,” Lewis said.

The former Harvard rugby player said besides the use of social media and digital technology and fan engagement, the TTOC is currently developing an app. He said brand toolkits and manuals are in the works, and a marketing department has been set up and is commissioning targeted surveys.

Projects under consideration as part of the new vision include the establishment of a Hall of Fame and/or Olympic Museum, and protecting the TTOC copyright.

“We are in the process of legally protecting the Olympic trademarks and copyrights in Trinidad and Tobago.

The new marketing and brand management strategy is intended to win over new Olympic fans and engage existing fans. It is through its strategic marketing and brand building efforts that the TTOC will be able to build a solid financial base, stand on its own two feet financially and become self sufficient,” he said.

There are also plans to raise funds by contracting Hasely Crawford’s 1976 Olympic memorabilia to corporate companies on a biannual or yearly basis.