10Golds24 aims to cultivate a system of excellence that clarifies the development pathway and performance management system that holistically foster, mentor, nurture and develop Olympians and Olympic Champions.  
Training to be an Olympic champion is a full time commitment that demands both discipline and dedication to maintain competitiveness and to win medals. Elite and high performance athletes competing in individual and team sports must dedicate time, money, and energy to their athletic endeavors.   
Signaling a new mindset, a new attitude and a new approach where the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) targets the big goal and the big dream of ten Olympic gold medals by the year 2024. Establishing a change in culture entails breaking down barriers with new and innovative approaches. Thus, this approach intends to sensitize the nation about the reality that exist with out National Athletes in an attempt to encourage support of our athletes on their journey to fulfilling the Olympic Dream.  
The goal of #10Golds24 was launched on the 26th December 2014. On 25th January 2015, the TTOC President, Brian Lewis, participated in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon to raise awareness on funding for the Athlete Welfare and Preparation fund. The Fund is envisioned to be independent, transparent, accountable and non – governmental.     
Many of TTO Elite and High Performance athletes are not financially well rewarded and would not have an opportunity to reach their potential without financial support. Financial support or the lack of it across the stages of an athlete's long term development have ended or compromised the dream of many talented young men and women.  
The training to compete and to win phases of an athlete's long-term development is particularly critical. As is what happens after their competitive life is over.  
The aim of #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation fund is to provide financial assistance to our nation’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes to enable them to train, recover and compete. The fund aims to assist athletes in the following aspects:

  • Direct support (stipend) and out of pocket expense
  • Medal bonus
  • Health and Accident Insurance
  • Internships with Corporate T&T to prepare for life after elite sport
  • Life skills training

Paris is to make its long-awaited entrance into the race for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games on Olympic Day - June 23.

After a prolonged period of assessment, the French capital will confirm its intention to take its place on the start-line, alongside Boston, Hamburg and Rome, at an event at the Maison du Sport Français featuring leading athletes and key politicians.

A second, more politically-oriented launch is expected on French National Day, July 14.

The city has not hosted the Summer Games since 1924 and its last three bids - in 1992, 2008 and 2012 – came to nothing.

Even so, given Boston’s well-publicised problems, it will probably enter this latest contest in what past bidding history suggests is the perilous position of frontrunner.

In a fascinating, though not unexpected, twist, media invitations to Tuesday’s event have been distributed by Vero, the consultancy headed by Britain's Mike Lee, one of the architects of Paris’s downfall in the keenly-contested 2012 race won by London.

Vero worked closely with Bernard Lapasset, the World Rugby President whose input has been critical in navigating the French political establishment to a position where it was prepared to countenance another bid, on the successful campaign to get rugby sevens into the Olympic sports programme, commencing at Rio 2016.

Lee also worked on Rio de Janeiro and Pyeongchang's successful bid to host the 2016 and 2018 Summer and Winter Olympics respectively.

He was also closely involved in Qatar's hugely controversial campaign that led to them being awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Lee is also currently guiding the campaign of former London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe to succeed Lamine Diack as President of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Other key figures in the new bid are expected to include Tony Estanguet, the personable 37-year-old triple Olympic canoe slalom champion and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission member, Etienne Thobois, a director of the Keneo consultancy and former French badminton champion, and of course Anne Hidalgo, the city’s Mayor.

"We are working with Bernard, Etienne and the Paris 2024 team," Lee confirmed to insidethegames.

The Hungarian capital Budapest is widely expected to join a race that will play an important part in shaping the IOC’s public image at a time when top sports organisations are coming under unprecedented scrutiny.

It is not impossible that other cities may yet follow suit before the September 15 deadline.

The winner is set to be chosen by IOC members in 2017, at the body’s 130th Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima.


Housing for elite athletes agenda must be pursued

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee proposal for expedited housing for elite athletes has been rejected. But TTOC president Brian Lewis says he will pursue the proposal despite this setback while Minister of Sport Brent Sancho says he is fighting hard to make it a reality.

In a March 25 correspondence to the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Minister of Housing and Urban Planning Dr Roodal Moonilal and Minister of Sport Brent Sancho, the TTOC president made a request for expedited access to HDC housing for athletes, attaching a policy proposal for housing assistance for athletes.

The proposal was a two-page document under two headings--one giving first the policy statement and then the second explaining rationale behind the proposal. The TTOC also invited further discussion if more details were required.

But on May 12, the Housing Development Corporation managing director Earlean John, in acknowledging receipt of the TTOC March 25-dated letter, declared that the HDC “takes its directives relative to the allocation and distribution of housing from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.”

It continued: “Consequently, we thank you for your proposal but any implementation of an ‘Elite Housing Assistance Programme’ by the HDC will have to be mandated by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development.”

Contacted yesterday, TTOC president Brian Lewis praised Minister of Sport Sancho for making representation to his cabinet colleagues. But he said a response coming from the HDC, which he never wrote, seems to be “paper-pushing”.

“The letter didn’t go to the HDC. Considering that the correspondence was sent to the Prime Minister and copied to the Ministers of Housing and Sport, the reasonable expectation would have been to be given the opportunity to discuss the rationale for the proposal,” Lewis said.

Lewis added that T&T elite level athletes make huge sacrifices to represent the country sometimes at personal and financial costs to themselves. “Why must our athletes always have to consider packing up or migrating. The disrespect for what our athletes go through must stop. “We will not achieve 10 or more Olympic gold medals by 2024 if the plight of our athletes continue to be dismissed,” Lewis said.

But Minister of Sport Sancho said the Government is receptive to the idea but since this is the first time a government would be undertaking a venture like this, the issue had to be examined thoroughly.

“We are putting together a holistic plan and last week I had a meeting with TTOC and some other governing bodies as it relates to a 2016 push for Rio. Separate and apart from elite athlete funding we are looking at ways at how we can now generate this machinery, for lack of a better word, that could prepare our athletes holistically and not just throwing funds into their pockets, but also the possibility of housing, preparation and the training that will accumulate into us being very prepared, as my good colleague from the TTOC coined the phrase to be podium ready,” said Sancho, adding that he plans to reveal that plan in another week or two.

On the elite athlete housing assistance issue, Sancho said while he understood Lewis’ frustration and that the culture of the country doesn’t place enough emphasis on sport, he is confident because all the parties involved are receptive to the idea.

“The receptive mess by all parties to make it a reality, as sport minister I am trying hard and want it done – the TTOC president wants it and a prime minister that is receptive to the idea speaks well for us moving forward,” Sancho said.

Sancho added that one of the other projects he is working on is a pilot project of a sports academy at the primary and secondary school level.

But Lewis is adamant the housing issue must come to the fore sooner rather than later.

“The aspirations of 10 or more Olympic Gold Medals by the year 2024 is a powerful motivating impetus,” Lewis said, “The TTOC is of the resolute view that the athletes of Trinidad and Tobago especially those who are giving their all in service of their country require support in a manner such as proposed. That the TTOC did not get the opportunity to present its case does not diminish in the view of the TTOC the merit of its efforts to get acceptance for the proposal.”


SEVEN WEEKS after their victory at the conventional 15-man game, in which Trinidad and Tobago were crowned North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) champions, the TT Sevens squad suffered at the shorter format, beaten in all their matches at the NACRA Sevens in the United States last weekend.

The Olympic qualification hopes for the TT men were dashed as they failed to win a single game in Pool ‘B’ of the regional playoffs in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The TT men were beaten by Canada, the Cayman Islands, Guyana and the Bahamas, finishing at the bottom of the five-team pool without a point.

While individual match results have not been made available, TT scored a total of 24 points but conceded 96.

The US won the playoff and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while runners-up Canada will have another chance to qualify.

As reported in the Newsday yesterday, the TT Women finished third in their tournament and will have another opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Sevens in Rio.


A HIGH COURT judge has quashed the decision of the Minister of Town and Country Planning to grant permission to the Sport Company of TT (SPORTT) to construct a sporting complex at the Orange Grove Savannah in Tacarigua.

In a 70-page ruling yesterday, Justice Ricky Rahim found that the minister breached his duty under Sections 6 and 7 of the Town and Country Planning Act to take steps to amend the national development plan as it related to the Orange Grove Savannah. The judge also found that the decision of the minister to grant permission to TT (SPORTT) to develop the lands was in breach of natural justice and was void and of no effect. “It is manifestly clear that there was no consultation with those affected,” the judge said in his ruling in favour of a group of Tacarigua residents, including two sporting clubs, which have used the savannah for decades.

“If anything these claimants are the ones to be most affected by the construction more than perhaps any other as they have had continuous and undisturbed use of the grounds over many years,” Justice Rahim said. It was an emotional end to the three-year fight by the residents. Public relations officer of the Save Our Orange Grove Savannah lobby group, Dr Carol James admitted to Newsday it was an emotional battle. As she was embraced by the scores of residents - some of whom wept after the ruling was delivered in the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain - James said the fight for the ‘green space’ was done for the families who for generations come together at the savannah.

“It is our space and we want to keep our space for our children,” she said.

The residents filed legal action after they were informed of the decision to construct the Eddie Hart Regional Sporting Complex, a multipurpose sporting complex, which would have featured a 25 metre swimming pool, cricket ground, football field, pavilion and 400 metre running track.

They complained that there was no full disclosure as to the scope of the project and that the SPORTT application, dated August 26, 2013, to the Town and Country Planning Division had been granted on September 25, 2013.

Their attorney, Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein submitted at the trial before Justice Rahim that the residents and the Ulric ‘Buggy’ Haynes Coaching School and the Dinsley Cricket Club, would be adversely affected if the planned sporting complex was constructed as they would no longer have access to the green space.

Hosein accused the executive of not adhering to the statutory provisions of the Town and Country Act which mandates that a National Physical Development Plan be submitted to Parliament, along with surveys, every five years.

He said the plan was important to ensure there was consistency and continuity as it related to how land was developed.”You cannot run a country without a development plan,” he argued, adding that, “The State has not satisfied its duty imposed by Parliament.”

In ruling in the residents’ favour, Justice Rahim found that there was a breach of duty on the part of the minister to update the national plan.

The judge ordered that minister reconsider the SPORTT’s application in a ‘procedurally fair manner and specifically after genuine consultation’ with the residents and other affected members of the public.

In his ruling, the judge said that the minister was aware of the public objection to the proposed construction but deprived the residents of the opportunity granted to them by statute to object or make representation as it related to the effect that the sporting complex would have on their daily activities.

“There was a duty on the minister to act fairly when considering the application for planning permission. Consultation is not only about objections but also about representations to arrive at the best possible plan which would benefit the various interests in the community and at the same time give effect to the government’s intention,” the judge said.

He also pointed out the former minister of sport, who, when approached by cricket clubs’ executive, declared that the sporting complex “can’t be stopped, it wouldn’t be stopped and is going full steam ahead’ was indicative of the approach taken to the construction of the sporting complex without sufficient regard for the right of those who make the community their home and whose lives revolve around the savannah to be heard. Justice Rahim said residents had to discover matters relating to the project largely through their own efforts; literally had to plead for genuine consultation and had to resort to the national media in an effort to be heard.

“But alas their pleas have all fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

The judge, in ordering the minister to pay the residents’ costs of bringing the action, suggested that not only should recreational areas be provided but also consider that “green spaces deserve some measure of protection.”

“Developed nations appear to have gone the way of eco-friendly references in acknowledgment that the phrase green space does not only define a place for human recreation but also goes beyond to acknowledge the reservation or conservation of a community, rural, natural or historic character and the conservation of land for recreational ecological environmental or aesthetic interest.

As we continue to develop as a nation in the 21st century the time may have arrived when those who govern may wish not only to ensure that sufficient recreational areas are provided but also consider that green spaces deserve some measure of protection,” Justice Rahim said in his ruling.

Also appearing for the residents were attorneys Rishi Dass and Marina Narinesingh while Russell Martineau, SC, Gerald Ramdeen and Kendra Mark represented the minister.



Trinidad and Tobago were well represented at the UCI Fastest Man on Wheels competition over the weekend as Arima Wheeler's Kwesi Browne won bronze in the final of the men's keirin. The meet was held at the Valley Preferred Cycling Centre in Pennsylvania, USA.

Browne finished third after a keenly-contested keirin final, with Eddie Dawkins of New Zealand finishing as the winner. Njisane Phillip meanwhile, placed sixth overall in the final after excelling in the heats and semi-final leading up to the main event on Friday.

Both sprinters raced into the semi-finals and then into final, where they faced a decorated field of elite-level cyclists. There were three riders from New Zealand, one from the Netherlands, one from Canada and a British cyclist. They all were in the field along with both Phillip and Browne.

Both sprinters came into the event after a busy six weeks. Phillip competed in the National Championships at the beginning of May, and then the Caribbean Track Cycling Championships in Havana, Cuba from the 27-30. Browne wasn't with the team in Havana, but competed at the National Championships. Both athletes also gained crucial UCI points, which will make them eligible to race in the upcoming Cycling World Cups in 2016.