Local Sport Organisations and Governing bodies, sports clubs , athletes have had great difficulty over the years obtaining Sports Insurance policies specifically designed and tailored for sports people .

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has made solving the problem  a priority .

It has proven a complex  process for the national Olympic committee and its corporate partner Guardian Group along with Dalian Medical Concierge Services Ltd to develop and design a  Group Sports Health and Accident  insurance plan .

Significant progress has been made and the TTOC is optimistic that Group Sports Health and Accident Insurance  cover for sports related injuries will soon be a reality.

TRINIDAD and Tobago will tackle the hosts when the second edition of the Pan American Women’s Under-23 Volleyball Cup serves off tomorrow in Peru. The clash will take place at 7 p.m., two hours after the battle between the other two teams in Group A, Argentina and Mexico.


The Group B matches are also scheduled for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. with Costa Rica and Dominican Republic taking the court to follow the Colombia/Cuba encounter. The winners of both round-robin groups will move straight into Friday night’s semifinals, while the runners-up and third-placed teams will contest quarterfinals the night before.

The champions will be crowned next Saturday. There are five countries – Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and T&T – representing the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) region and the top two will secure tickets to next year’s World Under-23 Championships.

Argentina, Colombia and Peru are the South Americans involved and the team which finishes the highest of the three will earn the other ticket.

All T&T’s group matches are at 7 p.m. and they will face Argentina on Monday and Mexico the day after.

This country’s team is spearheaded by star national player Channon Thompson, who was voted Best Server, Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player (MVP) when T&T were crowned Caribbean champions for the fifth successive at home last month. Marisha Herbert and Malika Yorke, who were also on that squad, are also in Peru, and the team also includes national player Zahra Collins and top juniors Kaylon Cruickshank, Alexandrea Jones and Reann Young.

Jones was the Best Digger, Best Receiver and Best Libero while Cruickshank was the Best Blocker and Best Spiker and Young was the Best Scorer and MVP when T&T were crowned Caribbean Under-19 champs for the third straight time at home last December.

The team is being coached by national senior player Saleem Ali, who will be assisted by national senior coach Nicholson Drakes.

T&T is the only newcomer to this tournament, replacing Canada, the sixth-placed finishers in the inaugural event two years ago when Dominican Republic defeated Brazil for the gold medal and Argentina picked up bronze.

A FIVE-MEMBER national badminton contingent will fly en route to Queretaro, Mexico, today for the 2014 edition of the Pan American Sports Festival which serves off at the Jose Ma Arteaga Auditorium from Saturday till Monday.

The Festival, which has the participation of several other sports including athletics, archery, rhythmic gymnastics, rowing and weightlifting to name a few, began on July 11 and is scheduled to end on September 30.

The badminton delegation will be sending four of its top athletes which includes two seniors — Keston Friday and Nekeisha Blake — as well as two juniors — Will Lee and Jada Renales. Friday is a former triple crown Under-17 title holder and has won the National Men’s Doubles trophy on three occasions with TT’s top-ranked Men’s Singles player Kerwyn Pantin. Friday is also one of the top Singles players in the country. Meanwhile, Blake is a multiple Women’s Singles title holder and recently won a bronze medal in the Women’s Doubles at the Caribbean Regional Badminton Championships (CAREBACO) with one of the region’s leading athletes, Solangel Guzman.

Additionally, Lee is currently one of the top Under-19 Boys Singles players in the country and also bagged bronze in the CAREBACO Singles. Jada Renales is also one of the nation’s top junior athletes who holds the Under-17 National Singles title. Renales also recently attained silver in the Girls Singles at the regional tourney.

The squad will be lead by national junior coach Derwin Renales.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Sport held a celebratory award function for the returning CAREBACO team. Both the junior and senior teams won silver in the Team events and the overall count of medals from the team was that of 24. This comprised of four gold, ten silver and eight bronze which is the largest haul ever the country has ever had in the sport and at the Tournament. Renales, also president of the TTBA, expressed his gratitude for the recognition and added that even though the sport of badminton achieved such wonderful results without a home for the sport and faced other obstacles, her was indeed satisfied with the efforts that were made by the athletes and staff involved in the preparation for the Tournament and looks forward to many more successes in the near future.

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Borel betters 19-metre mark

Renny Quow struck gold at the Memorial Van Damme IAAF Diamond League finals in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler clocked 45.37 seconds to claim top spot in the men’s 400 metres. Belgian Kevin Borlee picked up silver in 45.44, while bronze went to Brazilian Anderson Henriques (45.52).

 

The Memorial Van Damme victory was Quow’s second one-lap triumph this week. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old athlete topped the men’s 400m field in 45.13 seconds at the 50th Palio Citta della Quercia meet, in Rovereto, Italy.

 

Cleopatra Borel was in fine form in Brussels, the T&T thrower producing a season’s best 19.13 metres effort to secure fourth spot in the women’s shot put.

 

Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion Valerie Adams continued her impressive winning streak. The New Zealand field athlete won for the 56th time on the trot with a huge 20.59m effort—the best throw in the world this year and a new Memorial Van Damme record. Germany’s Christina Schwanitz threw the iron ball 19.86m to finish second, while third spot went to American Michelle Carter (19.73m).

 

Borel opened yesterday’s competition at 18.81m. She followed up at 18.27m, before producing the big 19.13m throw in round three. The experienced campaigner’s last three throws were 18.52m, 18.11m and 18.27m.

 

The 19.13m throw was Borel’s fourth 19-plus effort this season. In March, she threw 19.10m and 19.02m en route to gold at Cuba’s National Championships. And in June, Borel landed the shot 19.04m to finish third at the adidas Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meet in New York, USA.

 

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson clocked 10.10 seconds in the Memorial Van Damme men’s 100m dash to finish eighth in a nine-man field. St Kitts and Nevis’ 2003 world champion Kim Collins brought up the rear in 10.19.

 

Justin Gatlin was dominant, winning in a world-leading 9.77 seconds from fellow-American Mike Rodgers (9.93) and Jamaicans Asafa Powell (9.95) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (9.96). Briton James Dasaolu (10.00), American Tyson Gay (10.01) and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter (10.01) finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Gatlin was back on the track one hour later, romping to victory in the 200m in 19.71 seconds.

 

T&T squad: Zahra Collins; Nicolette De Mille; Kaylon Cruickshank; Shakile Grannum; Alexandrea Jones; Marisha Herbert; Destiny Leon; Trajane Ramey; Channon Thompson; Malika Yorke; Kiana Young; Reann Young. Saleem Ali (coach); Nicholson Drakes (assistant coach).

For a long time, Tobago have been dependent on the coaching skill of Bertille St Clair, who led Trinidad and Tobago to a 2000 semi-final berth, its best-ever showing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 

Thursday’s international friendly, which was won 3-0 by Guadeloupe, gave Tobago a chance to expose a new coach to international football. Given the job was Marlon Toppin, a former Goal City footballer, who led Roxborough Lakers to a close second spot to Goal City in the Tobago Premier Divison last season.

 

“We have a young coach, Marlon Toppin. He has been working with Roxborough Lakers, but it’s his first time in charge of a Tobago team. So, the Guadeloupe match also gave him exposure and the chance to grow as a coach as well,” stated Everton Alfred, general secretary of the Tobago Football Association (TFA).

 

Given that they did not have much of a preparation, Toppin had Tobago playing quite well, particularly in the first half, against Guadeloupe. Toppin gave almost every player a run, using an entirely different team in either half. And if the TFA has its way, Toppin may get a few more chances to coach Tobago in other friendly internationals.

 

“This is one of the few ways our coaches get to take a step further and learn the game at an international level,” Alfred added.

 

Not that Tobago is trying to break away from the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Instead, Alfred thinks Tobago players need exposure apart from a T&T national team, and a few games separate might give T&T national coach Stephen Hart the chance to scout the talent on the sister isle.

 

And Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) apparently have no problem with Tobago playing on its own team from time to time. In fact, TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is also Mayor of Port of Spain, sees it as a partnership.

 

“I know there are a lot of good players in Tobago and at times they are not known, they are not seen, and all the dynamics. We have to put an end to that,’’ declared Tim Kee. “So, when we got the games against Guadeloupe, we offered Tobago the opportunity to handle it. We had at times assisted them with how to organise it, but its all part of my promise to involve Tobago in the international football.”

 

Among the players Tobago fielded against Guadeloupe were Stokely Vale’s Tyronne Manning, one of the top five National Super League players of 2011; Akini Ferguson, last year’s top-score with Tobago champions Goal City; his brother Kerlon Ferguson (Goal City), a former player with 2010 T&T Pro Legue runners-up T&TEC; defender Omar Charles, who played Pro League football with both Central FC and Point Fortin Civic in 2013-2014; Gem Gordon, a 2013 trialist with England club Walsall, who played for Pro League champions W Connection; and McKenzie Denoon, the 2013 keeper for Tobago schoolboys football champions Speyside, who came on and made several good second half saves.

 

Since the demise of Tobago United, the sister isle does not have a professional team, so Tobago players have to come to Trinidad to play club football at the highest level. Among them are Rundell Winchester and Trevin Caesar, who a few months ago were playing for Central FC and North East Stars, but are now playing for clubs in the Belgium and US, respectively. Darren “Chucky” Mitchell is also Tobago-born, but now plays for Central FC.

 

“There is an exodus of players leaving once again, going to Trinidad because they want to ply their trade at the best level,” stated Peter Granville, coach of the now defunct Tobago United, Tobago’s only Pro League team. “But you never know what will happen in the next couple of years.”

 



TOBAGO SQUAD:

 

1. Joel Sampson (GK), 2.Simon Nedd, 3.Mensa Pollard, 4.Omar Charles, 5.Vernon Wilson, 7.Staffano Wright, 10.Kerron Phillips, 11.Arthur Moses, 12. Andel Brown, 16.Kern Harris, 17.Tyronne Manning, 19.Kerlon Ferguson, 20.Larry Potts. SUBS: 6. Nyron Orr, 8.Deon Thomas, 9.Anson Campbell, 13.Karlon Morris, 14.Gem Gordon, 15.Carmichael Sealy, 18. Akini Ferguson, 21.Devon Leacock, 22(GK) McKenzie Denoon.

Jonathan De Matas captured a bronze medal in the sparring competition in T&T’s historic participation at the fifth International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup, which took place recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The five athletes who represented T&T were all members of the Euge Taekwon-Do Academy.

The team was led by Franklyn Eugene (ITF IV Dan), and included Francisca Sadal (black belt I Dan) Aaliyah Maharaj (black belt I Dan) Christopher Nakhid (black belt II Dan) De Matas (red belt).

Nakhid participated in four events: patterns, sparring, technical breaking and power breaking.

He placed fourth in power breaking and competed keenly in his pattern event, Eui Am, in which he was narrowly edged by his opponent, 3-2.

His first round sparring match was against a Slovenian opponent which he lost 4-0.

Sadal competed in the patterns event in the 36-45 age group and was one of the three competitors out of six competitors to complete the event.

This is the first time that a female athlete from T&T has competed in the patterns competition.

Maharaj competed in Power Breaking and in the 36-45 age group and made great representation. Again, this was the first time a female athlete from T&T competed in this event.

There was only one competitor in this category placed first as the competition standards were very high.

Eugene competed in sparring in the 36-45 advance senior age group.

In the first minute, his Argentinian opponent was ahead by two points. Then, Eugene converted the score 3-2. However, at the end, the Argentinean came back to win the event. In the power breaking, Eugene was placed seventh in a field of 36 competitors, edging closer to the current world leaders in the event from Paraguay, Argentina, and England.

De Matas, meanwhile, competed in patterns in the colour belt 18-36 age group and won his first round against his Argentinean opponent.

His pattern Hwa–Rang was just too powerful for the Argentinean. In his second round of patterns, he faced a Jamaican opponent whom he lost to by one point. In the sparring competition, De Matas was able to capture the bronze medal against another Jamaica opponent. De Matas was up on points. However, deductions had the best of him. To his credit, De Matas fought hard and again his technical abilities exceeded those of his competitors.

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