Former national footballers Shaka Hislop and Kelvin Jack are today applauding Government’s decision to invest $32.6 million towards the development of grassroot football in T&T.

The athletes who represented this country at the Fifa World Cup Germany in 2006, said once this initiative was sustained, this country would never be in short supply of proven talent from which to draw.

They believed this move would always ensure that the standard of football to be witnessed at varying levels was delivered with the approval of the national community and admired the world over.

Finance Minister Larry Howai, during his 2014/2015 budget presentation, said the state made significant progress in establishing and enabling framework, comprising infrastructure, management and coaching, talent building, welfare of elite athletes and sport tourism.

“We are building on the existing infrastructure: the technical framework to support the development of football throughout the country has been put in place at an annual cost of $36.2 million; the five multi-purpose stadia have been or are now being upgraded; and community sporting groups and national governing bodies are continuing to receive financial assistance,” the minister said.

Jack commended the state for taking the initiative, but believed such a programme needed ten times that amount.

“But if that is what they can allocate right now, so be it. But without a doubt they would need more money than that. That’s only 3.2 million pounds. It’s a lot of money, but it isn’t a lot of money if you know what I am saying; if you want to go the way of development.

He added, “They needed to have the right people running it. That’s the crucial issue here. The right people must be running these programmes; people who understand football; people who (are) qualified in coaching football; people who are good at imparting knowledge. It’s brilliant that the money is there to do it, but they need to put the right people in place to run this programme or else it’s not going to be successful.”

Asked if he believed the time had come for the former Soca Warriors to get involved in the sustained development of T&T football, Jack responded affirmatively.

Depending on which of them would be interested in getting involved, he said, T&T had a lot of knowledge to gain from this type of engagement.

Should these calibre of players be approached and accede to the request, said Jack, local football would surely progress.

“The problem is that TTFA is not interested in tapping into that knowledge. You have all these players here—the only players that have ever gone to a World Cup final—and you haven’t used it (their knowledge). They (TTFA) went on a trip the other day overloaded with staff. Sheldon Phillips brought his dad (Lincoln Phillips) on board as goal keeping coach.

“No disrespect to Lincoln Phillips who had a great playing career and good coaching career, but it is time for the younger brigade to get involved. So far, they have been unwilling to utilise these players who were part of the most successful team of T&T’s history,” Jack said.

Hislop, an ESPN football commentator and newly appointed Fifa influential International Football Association Board (IFAB) board member said, too often, local football and the financing of it is focused on the top tier of our game, in particular, the national team.

“I have been critical in the past. For years, when World Cup comes about there’s a lot of shouting and screaming and howling about the national team. How much money the Government, the corporate sector or whoever it maybe is putting behind the national team to qualify for the next World Cup. I have been very critical of that approach. As a fan, I am equally animated every four years when it comes around. But in all honesty, I have always felt that for us to consistently threaten to qualify for the World Cup, we have to take a long term view or our game and the development of it,” he said.

Hislop added, “Our planning for World Cup 2018 should have started a decade ago. I think the development and this announcement buys into that thinking.

“We have to start developing. We have to start preparing our young athletes at the earliest possible level, because I feel it’s such a steep learning curve and we are already at a disadvantage to most nations simply because of our country’s size and the player pool that a population of 1.5 million can afford. We have to do other things and I think this is a significant step in that direction,” he said.


Olympic medallist Lalonde Gordon now has a trust in his name.

While some athletes get a statue in honour of their accomplishments and others have their name assigned to a plane or stadia, the London 2012 Olympic achiever is to be lauded by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) with the activation of the Lalonde Gordon Fund.

Huey Cadette, secretary for Sport, Education and Youth Affairs confirmed this yesterday.

He explained that while the fund was created two years ago, it was not yet launched and neither had it being operationalised. A board to oversee the fund had been appointed.

Cadette expressed the hope that the fund would become operational in fiscal 2015 with an initial contribution of $1 million from the THA.

Gordon successfully medalled at the London 2012 Olympics in his pet events—the 400m and the 4x400 relay—where he secured bronze medals for T&T.

Through the creation of this fund, the THA hoped to assist athletes and administrators alike in their personal development goals.

The establishment of the fund, however, was being done in isolation, said the secretary.

The fund, he said, would form part of the Assembly’s Tobago Sport Policy, which is still being drafted, and aimed to set a clear mandate in relation to structures and procedures through which elite athletes accessed funding.

“Recognising Lalonde Gordon’s effort and his success at the London 2012 Olympics, the THA would have established a fund where money would be allocated both by the THA and corporate T&T. This fund, of course would be managed by representatives of civil society and of course the Assembly. The role of this fund would be to seek applications from persons whether administrators, athletes, organisations who requires support for programmes related to sport, whether it is training or administrative courses,” said Cadette.

He added: “That is essentially what the fund is created for and we look forward to allowing our athletes to thrive because of the input coming from both the Assembly and corporate T&T. We want to ensure that whether you are playing tennis, table tennis, golf, basketball or football that we can find ways to provide support for our athletes. So yes, there will be some distinct differences in our policy and the national one (by the Ministry of Sport). But overall, our policy will seek to compliment what happens at the national level.”


Former national women’s rugby team stand-out Kwanieze John has represented the Trinidad & Tobago Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) at the IRB International Growing the Game Conference, which took place over the weekend, and will also represent the TTRFU at the ongoing World Rugby Conference and Exhibition, which closes today in London, England.

John, a leading advocate for the development of women’s rugby in T&T is credited with the introduction of the School Girls’ League and serves as a Youth Development Officer of the TTRFU.

The Conference included the participation of more than 100 countries and focused on the positive experiences and challenges encountered by coaches and administrators in spreading the game and the path to be followed for future programmes.

High-ranking officials of the IRB including David Carrigy, IRB Head of Development and International Relations also participated in dicussions.

Prior to John’s experience in London, she took part in the Exchange and Corporation Program 2014 Brazilian School Youth Games from November 6-11, in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil, under the auspices of the Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Committee of Brazil.


Game on!

That’s the assurance now being given by the captain of the Soca Warriors, Kenwynne Jones.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian a short while ago, Jones said he was contacted by the Minister of Sport Dr Rupert Griffith early this morning and given an assurance that the national footballers will be paid all outstanding arrears.

"We are happy that they stepped in to sort out the situation. So, as a result of the assurance given we are holding them to their word and game is on.

"We cannot comment further but we are going to wait until we get those cheques in our hands as promised again."

Tonight the T&T Soca Warriors will play in the final against the Jamaica national team, the Reggae Boyz, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Jamaica.

Asked if he and the team were ready for tonight’s battle for the CFU Caribbean Cup title, Jones said, "Despite all that we have been through, the guys are hyped. We are looking forward to tonight's game because it may be the first and only time that we will win something for T&T. We will be going out to bring back that title."

Last night, Jones and his team said they had decided to boycott the match pending the payment of arrears going back as far as four years. The players said they were frustrated over the situation.

The Soca Warriors are expected to return to T&T tomorrow night.


T&T Cycling Federation (TTCF) president Rowena Williams stated the Federation has steps in place for national cyclists to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games, dismissing claims by national cyclist Njisane Phillip.

It was reported in a daily newspapers (not the Guardian) on Sunday that Phillip was unhappy with the TTCF in helping T&T cyclists earn UCI (International Cycling Union) points to qualify for the UCI World Cup Series and the Olympic Games in 2016.

Phillip was quoted on Facebook as saying: “TTCF didn’t put anything in place for riders to qualify for world cups this year, we don’t even get UCI points for our national championships? Why? The rest of the world does.”

In a phone interview yesterday with Williams, the TTCF president said plans are in place for cyclists to earn UCI points at T&T’s national cycling championships. “Currently the country has plans in place for cyclists in our national championships to get UCI points from next year, he (Phillip) is probably not aware of that.”

Phillip added: “We barely even made it to the World Cup, if was not for my last minute trip to Czech Republic which yall (TTCF) didn’t pay for. I mean tell me our plan for this next Olympics team? Do you all even have one, or the athletes have to figure it out again like 2010-2012? You all just worried about election coming up.”

Williams responded by saying: “The Federation has been ensuring they (cyclists) get funding, we have been funding cyclists for events, I am not sure what his beef is.” Williams said that after funding is given to the riders it is then up to the cyclists to earn enough UCI points to qualify for the Olympic Games.

T&T was represented by Jude Codrington, Quincy Alexander and Kwesi Browne at the first leg of the World Cup earlier this month in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Phillip is not currently with the national cycling team at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Mexico, but is expected to represent T&T at the second leg of the UCI Cycling World Cup in London, England, from December 5-7.


Monday 17th November 2014, Trinidad and Tobago’s 3rd day of competition had 8 sporting disciplines, the most events for the country in this year’s CAC Games, with 30 scheduled events of which 3 were postponed due the weather conditions.


Table Tennis:

In Table tennis singles, T&T had six athletes each playing 2 matches in Men’s/Women’s groups of three opponents. Rheann Chung in group 5 was the first to defeat her opponents from Dominican Republic’s Karla Brito and Guatemala’s Andrea Montufar 3-0 each. Ashley Quashie wasn’t so successful, losing to Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz 3-0 and withdrawing against Barbados’s Angela Reid in group 9. Past CAC medalist Dexter St. Louis recovered from a 3-0 loss to Cuba’s Jorge to defeat Erick Aviles of El Salvador 3-1 in group 3. Catherine Spicer was unfortunate to capitalize on her impressive forehand attacks, falling short of her Venezuelan opponent Wimberly Montero in the second, third and fourth sets, losing 3-1 in group 9. 16 year old Aaron Wilson came from behind to defeat his much older 44 year old Jamaican opponent Michael Hyatt 3-2 but was over powered by the dominant Yohan Mora of Cuba in his second match in group 8. Finally Curtis Humphery got T&T’s second flawless scores, defeating Guatemala’s Hector Gatica and Honduras’s Miguel Sarmiento in group 12.



Roger Daniel grabbed T&T's first medal, winning bronze (175.8) in the Men’s Individual 10m Air Pistol at the El Lencero Police Academy in Xalapa. The 2010’s Gold medalist was hoping to once again grab the top spot but had to settle behind Cuba’s Jorge Grau (201.2) and Maurilio Morales (196.8) of Mexico. Rhodney Allen placed 22nd in the qualifying round with 545pts and first time CAC contestant Clement Marshall 31st 527 points.



Satyam Maharaj faced cold temperatures, rain and 20+ knots gust winds, while officials made a mandatory change to protocol from ‘Immediate Rescue' to 'Rescue' without disrupting the competition in the Men’s K1 200m Kayak Final placing 7th in a time of one minute. Cuba (40.7) took home gold, Venezuela (45.8) Silver and Mexico (46.7) Bronze. Women’s K1 200m T&T finalist Keian Huggins finished 6th in 1 minute 11 seconds. Cuba (51.4) Columbia (55.1) and Mexico (55.3) taking home the medals in that order. The team of Sherlon Pierre and Matthew Robinson finished 7th in the Men’s K2 200m Finals in a time of 52 seconds. Cuba (35.9) Venezuela (37.2) and Mexico (37.34) won Gold Silver and Bronze respectfully. The placings may earn T&T a spot in next year’s Panama Games, but still need to be confirmed.



Two of the Three McLeod brothers representing T&T had their finals carded for the evening; however it was postponed due to bad weather. They were able to swim in the qualifiers in the morning. David McLeod placed fourth in heat 2 of the Men’s 100m backstroke in 59.29, while older sibling Joshua placed 3rd in 24.47 behind Venezuela (24.18) and Surinam (24.4).



Women’s Hockey match against Guyana was postponed as the weather conditions made play hazardous.



Reported 60mph winds played a familiar factor in T&T’s 1-1 draw against Haiti, overcoming several other challenges including many of the team members playing together for the first time and arriving to Mexico on the morning of kick off, T&T drew level in the 51st minute through Patrice Campbell after Haiti’s Roselord Borgella put the Haitians ahead midway in the first half. T&T face host country Mexico next on Wednesday at 3pm, followed by Columbia on Friday, 10am.



Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team lost their 3rd in as many games to Costa Rica 25-19, 25-19, and 25-14. T&T await for the scheduling of their next opponent in the Placement 5-8 (match 16) on Wednesday 19th.



Finally, T&T Men’s Team Sprint indoor Cycling of Kwesi Browne, Quincy Alexander and Jude Cordrington, narrowly missed out for the medaling race placing 5th in a time of 45.95 seconds, behind 4th place Cuba’s 45.65. Venezuela and Columbia, the fastest 2 teams of the qualifiers race for gold Nov 17th while the 3rd and 4th teams race for bronze the same day.