Pan American Games shot putt gold medallist Cleopatra Borel and current national female boxing coach Ria Ramnarine are throwing their support behind Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis’ proposal for elite athlete housing assistance policy and programme.

Borel, who took home Pan Am gold and a medal bonus of US$3,000 from the meet in Toronto, Canada says she agrees with the proposal, “because as an elite level athlete, we make a lot of sacrifices in our personal lives and also financially because for some of us we would be in a better position financially if we were in another occupation and I believe that after you have done a number of years of service for your country, well it is nice to know that you have a small place in that country to call home just like other services people like firemen, police officers and such. “

Borel said elite athletes were not asking for free housing but to be afforded the opportunity to purchase a home.

“Elite athletes want the same thing like everyone else, we want a place, you know, that sort of security that we can afford a place where I can live and have a happy family life after my career is ended” the Pan Am champ says.

Borel said T&T athletes love representing the country but that to compete at the level they compete at requires “a 100 per cent commitment” and having to worry about a roof over their heads while preparing for world and international competition is an unnecessary distraction that could detract from performance.

“To be placed in a nice surrounding and to have that sort of security is important to us,” she said.

Borel added the T&T public would be surprised to know the circumstances some elite athletes exist under.

Ramnarine, a four-time world champion, also believes the athlete housing proposal is a great one.

For more reasons than one.

“First we have to make the athletes as comfortable as possible with regards to their training. It helps them to train better, be in a better frame of mind, the mental focus is there .

Speaking of her experience of applying for HDC housing since 1999, Ramnarine adds:

“The reason why I am saying that is coming from my athletic background itself and struggling to locating housing, I went through the process and it was incredibly difficult.“

Ramnarine said she is currently coaching a female athlete who qualified for the Pan Am Games but who is struggling to keep the roof over her head.

“Because of her training regime, three times a day, she is not working and what little savings she has is quickly dwindling because rent is very high, a high cost everywhere.... I am surprised that the relevant authorities have not taken it and ran with it, “she states.

Ramnarine said she felt really helpless and got flashbacks to her own situation when she was seeking housing as a world class athlete.

“It really touches my heart and I would take her into my home if I had the space for her. And as I said, it would not be for everyone but for athletes who have proven themselves and who have met certain objectives and athletes who are deserving based on that criteria.


On a day like this, it’s heartening to be able to focus on sporting excellence.

With a weekend to absorb the ramifications of Friday’s prison break and on the 25th anniversary of the coup attempt that ushered in a new level of violence and criminality in this country, results on the field of play again offer us hope for a better, safer, more disciplined and productive Trinidad and Tobago, if only we could appreciate the serious symbolism behind the apparent triviality of T20 cricket and the Pan Am Games.

Yes, the Pan Am Games, a multi-sport event that pales in comparison to Olympics and World Championships, and will be struggling today to grab the attention of a local sporting public that would have been caught up in the excitement and hype generated by Dwayne Bravo leading the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel against compatriot Kieron Pollard’s Barbados Tridents in last evening’s final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League.

Whatever the result at the Queen’s Park Oval, it would have been a victory for T&T cricket in this most abbreviated format, given that there were no fewer than 14 natives of the twin-islands state in the two squads, even if all didn’t get on the field for the showpiece occasion.

Add to that the vital trio of Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine in the Guyana Amazon Warriors that went under to the Red Steel in Saturday’s final, and not forgetting fast bowler Shannon Gabriel’s impact for the St Lucia Zouks and batsman Evin Lewis’ contribution for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and it should become clear that this franchise format has actually benefited more Trinidad and Tobago cricketers than it would have in a strictly territorial structure.

But that’s not today’s focus. It’s the exploits of the squad that represented the red, white and black over the past fortnight in Toronto to the extent that they will now return home from Canada’s largest metropolis with a team record eight medals, bettering by one the tally of seven at the games of 1967 (Winnipeg), 1971 (Cali) and 2003 (Santo Domingo).

Significantly, the haul of three gold medals by shot putter Cleopatra Borel, Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott and the 4 x 400-metre men’s relay team is not only the most earned by T&T at a single Pan Am but also equals the nation’s entire gold medal haul at the hemispheric event over the previous ten editions, from 1975 in Mexico City to 2011 back in Mexico, this time in the city of Guadalajara.

No amount of praise can be enough for 36-year-old Borel, our 2014 “Sportswoman of the Year,” whose gold with a throw of 18.67 metres follows bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and silver four years ago. As Kwame Laurence, one of the most experienced athletics journalists in this part of the world noted on Friday, the day after her golden effort, this is no guarantee of success at the Rio Olympics next year, simply because the quality of the field will be considerably higher there.

But that is speculation. What is fact is that this consistent and enduring competitor continues to do the country proud on the world stage.

At the other end of the scale you’ve got Walcott, a bolt-out-of-the-blue Olympic champion at 19 years of age at London 2012 in an event which has no tradition in this country and at an age when he should have been far too young to challenge the best in the world.

Not surprisingly, he struggled with expectation – and injury – in the aftermath of that astonishing success. In 2015 though, he seems to have settled into the right sort of groove and assuming he can maintain his form going into next month’s World Championships in Beijing, has the chance to make amends for a disappointing outing at the 2013 event in Moscow.

Then to top off the golden effort we had the quartet of Renny Quow, Jarrin Solomon, Emmanuel Mayers and Machel Cedenio (already a silver medallist in the individual 400), the anchorman running a brilliant final leg to overhaul Cuba and the United States to reach the finish line first.

It is a measure of the regard in which they are held that George Bovell’s bronze in the swimming pool in the 50-metre freestyle, Njisane Phillip’s silver in the sprint at the cycling velodrome and the third-place finish by the men’s sprint relay quartet were greeted as if they were in line with general expectations.

However the same cannot be said of Mikel Thomas’ surprise silver in an excellent 110-metre hurdles final in which the top five finishers achieved personal bests.

These are the stories that inspire, the achievements that should be celebrated in the face of so much negativity on this day.


Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Star, Kieron Pollard took time from his busy Hero CPL Tournament schedule to give inspirational advice to the young athletes attending the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee 2015 Youth Camp. Pollard told the attentive youngsters, “to be the best you need to put in the work, obstacles may try to get in the way but once you put God first in everything that you do, you will be successful”.

The Barbados Trident Captain advised the young athletes of the importance of education and urged them to maintain a proper balance between and their school work.

Marc-Anthony Honore German based professional Volleyball Player shared his experience with the youth campers. Honore a National Volleyball player has been on the European professional circuit for the past 7 years.

Honore shared with the athletes the importance of making sacrifices to achieve their goals. He also spoke about his Professional Volleyball Experience and ended his visit by demonstrating and teaching some basic skills.

Andre Colin Doping Control Officer of the World Anti-Doping Agency also paid a visit to the TTOC 2015 Olympic Youth Camp to educate the group of young athletes.

Some folks do not even like to call kicking of penalties in a football game to decide the result as a defeat.

Unfortunately, the current law pertaining to the final result of a knockout match, is the only way, hence the reason why coaches and players ought to pay attention to this special skill.

T&T entered this game with much confidence after such a satisfying performance against the might of Mexico.

The slight changes in the starting team brought Daniel Cyrus in to replace Aubrey David, while Abu Bakr returned to Central defense in place of Yohance Mashall.

For the first fifty minutes, the change did not bear relevance to the quality of play during the short period from the start.

Panama decided to pay respect to the new look Warriors, whom they had met some months ago and literally dominated the proceeding in Trinidad.

Their assessment was correct, in that Stephen Hart decided to seek composure and methodical approach in the early stages, where caution must be a major factor as a main ingredient that all teams use in the Knock-out game system.

The from six players appeared to be comfortable with a strong midfield of Kheelem Hyland in the back of Joevin jones, Kevon George, and Cordel Cato, a foursome which set the character of a possession game in the midfield with some smooth transitions to captain Kenwayne Jones and newcomer Kerron Cummings operating as twin strikers.

Panama did not appear dominant, neither did they appear to be in a hurry to attempt speedy attacking methods. They chased the passes used by the warriors as the ball was moved around laterally when there was no pressure, only to make full use of the speedy wingers Jones and Cato. For fifteen minutes, Panama looked uncertain as to how they plan to deal with some challenges to which they had not seen before from T&T. As happens so often in circumstances where a team is gaining in confidence, an awkward slip by Abu bakr, followed by an attempt to correct the error by Sheldon Bateau, his central defending partner. This turned out to be disastrous as bateau’s desperate clearance, bounced off Tejeda, struck Bateau in the face and fell to the feet of Tejeda.

His experience brought clinical accuracy and composure as he quickly realized that Keeper Marvin Phillips was stranded and could not defend against an accurate push of the ball into the net.

My own impression was that the setback would only be temporary, seeing that Panama was not really in the game in the early period.

A series of freekicks and corners went the way of the Warriors, but none making a positive impact on the defense of Panama.

The game was moving towards the half time whistle with T&T still showing that they were capable of taking control of the game. A few half chances were not accepted, mainly through errors in the final passes.

With five minutes to go in the first half, there was relentless pressure put on by the warriors, causing some tough tackles by Panama as a way to offset the attacking mode of their opponents.

My half time observation was that Jones (K) was again enjoying another good game. His placement for crosses was spot on and the services from the defense to him were well supported by Cato on the right, George in the middle and Jones (J) on the left.

It looked awesome but unproductive in the first half and promised better in the second.

It actually was and Panama did not appear to be the force that they had shown previously in their group matches.

Free-kicks and corners entered the fray against Panama when they were defending under pressure and just taking evasive action.

In the end it was a very good match for T&T as it now looks forward to the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.


Tobago YMCA’s Ornella Walker, who achieved a CCCAN qualifying standard but was not selected because of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago’s (ASATT’s) selection policy, will spearhead a 40-member T&T team when this country hosts the XXI Goodwill Swim Meet 2015 from August 14–16, at the Centre of Excellence Swimming Pool, Macoya.

T&T are the defending champions after the squad under head coach Joseph Ryan clinched the 2014 title from perennial champs Suriname, in that South American country.

This year, Ryan lines up as an assistant coach after Dexter Browne was selected as head coach for the 2015 squad. The other assistants are Leslyn Alexander and Mark “Bush” Alexis.

The swimmers were selected following the conclusion of the ASATT National Short Course Age Group Championships two weeks ago.

This annual regional competition will see Trinidad and Tobago aiming to retain the title they won last year after a seven-year drought.

Teams from Suriname, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia and guest team, the Bahamas, are expected to arrive from August 13.

The team’s manager is Amanda Mc Millan and she is supported by chaperones Elise Parag, Michael Nelson and Brent Yates.

For T&T , the Goodwill Swim Meet is a developmental competition for swimmers from the participating countries who have not yet competed at higher levels of regional or international competition (that is, Carifta, Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) and the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships (CCCAN).

Goodwill and the promotion of the sport of swimming remain the goals of the competition in an atmosphere of intense rivalry and sportsmanship.

The full T&T team: 8 & Under GIRLS

Joy Blackett

Amelia Rajack

Lyla Browne

Breanna Ramirez


8 & Under BOYS

Zachary Anthony

Tyrese Boxill

Giovanni Rivas

Gevano Mohan


9 — 10 GIRLS

Zoe Anthony

Kiara Goodridge

Neishelah Caseman

Gabrielle Vickles


9 — 10 BOYS

Josiah Changar

Marquise Nelson

Riquelio Joseph

Johann-Matthew Matamoro


11 — 12 GIRLS

Jasmine Marajh

DeNicha Lewis

Marie Ayoung

Terri Yates

11 — 12 BOYS

Jonathan Constantine

Malik Nelson

Jordon Mc Millan

Delroy Tyrrell


13 — 14 GIRLS

Danielle Williams

Ornella Walker

Lleana Bocage

Courtney Lawrence

13 — 14 BOYS

Jarelle Williams

Obadayah Ince

Matthew Ocando

Joshua Prescott


15 — 17 GIRLS

Shenia Clapperton

Sajni Maharaj

T’Shelle Williams

Reizanne Richards


15 — 17 BOYS

Leshem Morris

Kegan Ford

Jeremy Sampson

Alex Ali



Amanda Mc Millan

Head Coach

Dexter Browne


Leslyn Alexander

Joseph Ryan

Mark Alexis


Elise Parag

Michael Nelson

Brent Yates.


JULIAN JERVIS gained revenge over Nku Patrick as the Cayman Islands edged Trinidad and Tobago’s boys when the team events of the CASA (Caribbean Area Squash Association) Junior Championships continued Wednesday in Barbados.

Patrick had captured the only individual gold medal for T&T on Monday night when he edged Jervis in five sets for the under-19 crown.

But Jervis got the last laugh when he nosed out last year’s bronze-medallist in another pulsating five-setter, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10.

Cayman Island ended up winning the fixture 3-2 as Daniel Murphy was an 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 winner over national under-19 champ Chad Salandy and Jasun Jaisingh defeated national Under-15 champ Kobie Khan 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7.

T&T victories were achieved by Christopher Anthony and Nicholas Caddle.

Anthony, who picked up the under-13 bronze medal in “individuals”, whipped Pierce Terry 11-7, 11-7, 17-15 and national Under-17 champ Caddle was a 13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 winner over Christian Dube.

T&T had beaten Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) 4-1 in their opening Group B fixture, and concluded their round-robin campaign yesterday against Jamaica, 3-2 winners over OECS on Wednesday.

The top two teams in each of the boys’ and girls’ groups will contest today’s semifinals.

Barbados whipped Bermuda 4-1 in the three-team Group A to advance to the last four, along with defending champs Guyana, 3-2 winners over Bermudians the day before.

In girls’ action, defending champs Guyana trounced Bermuda 4-1 after dismissing T&T by the same score on Tuesday.

T&T needed to beat Bermuda last night to finish second in Group C and move into today’s semis.

And in the Group D matches, Jamaica whipped OECS 4-1 and Barbados were 3-2 winners over Cayman Islands. Both winners had also prevailed on Tuesday and were assured of places in the semis before their clash last night.

The finals will take place tomorrow.