Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is targeting a move to a new headquarters.

TTOC President Brian Lewis told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday that he had been seeking to find a permanent home for the organisation since 2013.

The TTOC has rented its headquarters since 2010, with the organisation currently based at 121 Abercromby Street in Port of Spain.

Lewis said the TTOC wants to remain at its current location until mid-2021.

This would enable the organisation to celebrate its participation at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The TTOC would also commemorate the organisation’s 75th anniversary.

Lewis described Abercromby Street as a “heritage building” because of the design.

The existing headquarters has formed the base of Olympic Day celebrations, which are marked opposite the building at Lord Harris’ Square.

Panam Sports has targeted helping its National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to establish their own headquarters.

A programme was established by the continental body to strengthen the infrastructure of NOCs or support the purchase of NOC headquarters.

Colombia, the Cayman Islands, Grenada and Panama are among NOCs to have opened new or renovated headquarters in recent years in the region


The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has set dates of September 24 to 30 for the second edition of its World Beach Games in 2023.

A decision was taken by ANOC in May to postpone the event from 2021.

ANOC said its Executive Council had decided not to stage the event as planned next year "to alleviate pressure" on National Olympic Committees (NOCs) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This would ensure they could focus on preparing their athletes for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, it was stated.

ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg, speaking during the Panam Sports General Assembly, revealed the organisation plans to host the event from September 24 to 30 in 2023.

The dates avoid a clash with the Pan American Games in Santiago, which are due to run from October 20 to November 5.

The ANOC Executive Council had invited NOCs to express an interest in bidding by February this year for either the 2021 or 2023 World Beach Games.

The process was halted due to the pandemic, however.

Lindberg said ANOC now aimed to launch the bid process for the event following the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year.

She said this would enable NOCs to focus on their preparations for the Olympic Games, while she expressed hope that potential hosts would be able to have more normal contact with Governments and sponsors at the time.

The inaugural ANOC World Beach Games were held in Doha last year.

San Diego was awarded the 2019 World Beach Games in 2015, but the event had to be relocated after Californian organisers were unable to raise the necessary money to fund it.

Qatar stepped in at late notice and hosted what ANOC officials claim was a successful maiden edition of the multi-sport event.


At a time of global uprisings, the Olympic ban on political dissent is under renewed scrutiny.
By Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff

As the winds of change whip through the world of sports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains a windless desert full of dry-husk ideas that appear brittle amid today’s zeitgeist of principled athlete activism. While other sports leagues—like the National Women’s Soccer League—are making space for their athletes to express political dissent, the IOC is lagging behind, digging in its heels to argue that politics and the Olympics don’t mix.

But there is a burgeoning effort among Olympic athletes, and even some sports administrators, to loosen restrictions on athletes’ ability to engage in political protest. The moment is ripe to ditch the restrictive measure embedded in the Olympic Charter that bans political dissent. The IOC is living in the past. Politically minded Olympic athletes are rooted in the present and thinking about the future. They more than deserve space to protest injustice.

The Olympic Charter has long explicitly forbidden dissent. After John Carlos and Tommie Smith famously thrust their black-gloved fists into the Mexico City sky in 1968 for Black freedom and human rights, the IOC fashioned a rule to dissuade athletes from taking a similar stand. This takes the form of Rule 50 in today’s Olympic Charter: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

In January, the IOC doubled down, issuing guidelines that delineated what it considers “protest,” rather than “political expression.” “Displaying any political messaging, including signs or armbands” is verboten, as are “gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling.” This suspiciously specific “non-exhaustive list” was an obvious response to two US athletes who had the temerity to make political statements on the medal stand at the 2019 Pan American Games: track athlete Gwen Berry, who raised a fist on the medal stand, and fencer Race Imboden, who took a knee.

Pressure is mounting from within the Olympic circle. The president of the Caribbean National Olympic Committees, Brian Lewis, stated publicly that Rule 50 must go. “My strong view is that Rule 50 can’t stand scrutiny,” he said. “It is explicitly linked to podium protests against racial injustices. It is the symptom of systemic racism and racial discrimination.”

In June, Global Athlete, the international, athlete-led group, issued a statement demanding the abolition of Rule 50, arguing that “silencing the athlete voice has led to oppression, silence has led to abuse, and silence has led to discrimination in sport.” The Athletes’ Advisory Council for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee agreed. The group teamed up with John Carlos to issue a similar plea to ditch Rule 50.

“Who knows what’s going to be in somebody’s heart? I don’t get to tell anybody what’s in their heart in that moment, when they get to reflect on how they got there and the country they come from. I feel like Rule 50 is a repudiation of that, a denial of what’s in your heart.”

US Olympian Gwen Berry told The Nation, “I think Rule 50 needs to be canceled for the simple reason that it goes against athletes’ human rights. There are rights inherent to all human beings and one is the freedom of speech.”

Berry is exactly right. The Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 stands in direct contradiction to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 19:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The IOC’s blatant suppression of athlete dissent slices mightily against this sentiment.

The Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 has long been outdated. Today, amid worldwide protest, it is downright archaic. To squelch protest today is to advance white supremacy, since most recent protests by Olympic athletes were done either to raise awareness of racism and its ramifications—like Berry and Imboden—or by athletes of color who used the Olympics as a political platform for speaking truth to power in their home countries. As the protests sweeping the streets have shown us, white supremacy needs to go. Let’s make space for athletes to give that toxic ideology a firm nudge toward the dustbin of history.

Dave ZirinTWITTERDave Zirin is the sports editor of The Nation and the author of Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.

Jules BoykoffJules Boykoff is a professor of political science at Pacific University in Oregon and the author of four books on the Olympic Games, most recently NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo.


Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh today urged the sporting fraternity to be patient and respect the public health ordinance, amongst growing evidence that football teams are flouting Covid-19 regulations.

The Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-ncov)] (No 32) Regulations, 2020 states:

‘During the period specified […] a person shall not, without reasonable justification […] participate in any group contact sports; or participate in any team sports, except with the approval of the minister.

‘[The aforementioned sub-regulations] shall not apply to athletic teams approved by the minister who are in training or participating in contact or team sports, at the national or international level.’

In light of complaints by readers about football academies, in particular, violating the regulations, Wired868 asked Deyalsingh to speak directly to football teams this morning.

“So as far as sport is concerned, the regulations speak to teams involved in national service—like the national football team representing Trinidad and Tobago—[which] are allowed to start back training,” said Deyalsingh, at today’s virtual press conference. “So [athletes preparing for the] Olympics, Red Force, to represent Trinidad and Tobago in cricket, [national] football teams, they can train. What is not allowed is anything else.

“I spoke with the commissioner of police on this last week. So we are urging all of those persons, you are not allowed under the regulations to be training, or congregating, unless you are representing a national team.”

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith confirmed that lawmen are regularly shutting down scrimmages—informal games—between football enthusiasts.

“The prime minister has been clear that we cannot play contact sport; the only people who can play is national teams,” said Griffith. “We continue to have patrols and we keep dispersing people, but we are not giving tickets to everyone—just like we won’t give everyone a ticket for not having a mask on, because sometimes people misinterpret the legislation.”

Griffith suggested at least two caveats that Deyalsingh did not, though.

First, he pointed out that regular club teams sometimes ‘assist’ the national team by giving them a practice game. For instance, he said, Pro League team AC Port of Spain played the Soca Warriors recently—they lost 8-0.

There is no allowance for AC to train, in preparation for that warm-up match, though.

Second, Griffith appeared to contradict Deyalsingh on whether teams can get together at all. The health minister’s view is that teams are ‘not allowed under the regulations to be training, or congregating’. The police commissioner says he sees no issue with certain types of training.

“A football team can run up the [Lady] Chancellor or do exercise; any team can assemble but they must be less than 10,” said Griffith. “That is no different to exercising in a gym… So they can train but they cannot take part in contact sport.”

And what about doing technical work on the ball within small groups and without contact?

Deyalsingh himself was clear that this is outlawed, and Griffith agreed. Once the football enters the picture, the commissioner suggested that it encouraged the violation of physical distancing guidelines, etc.

“Doing drills with the ball?!” asked Griffith. “Nah, I’m not buying that. Sure, you can get technical and say if we are just kicking the ball from one person to the next then it is not contact sport. But we cannot have police standing around watching to see if it turns into a scrimmage.

“Even if you put two men inside of a circle of five men [in a passing drill] and they are running around, breathing hard trying to get the ball. That is exactly the sort of thing the regulations are trying to avoid.”

Although there were complaints of multiple teams breaching the regulations, Wired868 got photographic evidence of two: QPCC FC, and an academy run by unofficial Men’s National Senior Team assistant coach Keon Trim.

(Trim, who is also a special reserve police officer, was not appointed by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s technical committee, but has worked as one of Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick’s guest coaches since June.)

Wired868 asked QPCC FC official Colm De Freitas whether the ‘Parkites’ are training at present.

“We are not training anymore, we are currently not training and we don’t have any teams in training,” said De Freitas. “We shut down some time ago. I can’t remember the exact date; I think it was something around April.”

Trim also denied conducting any sessions outside of the Soca Warriors.

“I train only the national players,” said Trim. “We have the national youth team players training but that’s it.”

In fact, the QPCC children supposedly train regularly at the St Joseph’s Convent ground in St Clair, while Trim was also spotted working with minors at the Nelson Mandela Park in the same region. In both cases, parents are allegedly paying for the sessions—although Wired868 could not confirm the financial arrangement, if one existed.

The public health ordinance states:

‘A person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable to a fixed penalty fine, […] in addition to such administrative fees as may be determined by the chief justice under section 21A of the Summary Courts Act.

‘And on failure to pay the fixed penalty, may be liable on summary conviction to a fine of TT$5,000 and to a term of imprisonment of three days.’

Wired868 asked De Freitas and Trim if they were sure that their respective organisations are not training.

Trim refused further comment until he was told who was ‘lying on him’. Wired868 did not reveal its source and the interview ended.

De Freitas confirmed that QPCC did have some sessions ‘with all our protocols in place’ but those ended months ago. He could not remember the date.

“We tried non-contact for a little while but we are not doing that anymore either,” said De Freitas. “[…] Maybe we had one kid on a ball, one on one, but nothing contact-related. We sought quite a bit of clarification too to make sure we did the right thing. Football is a team sport but if I am running with a ball by myself is that ‘team sport’?

“We did smaller non-contact sessions in twos and threes and the police visited us and we were fine. But we have since stopped.”

De Freitas admitted that coaching schools were ‘pressured’ to re-open, by children who are anxious to play and coaches who earn a living from the game.

“[…] My opinion is the football fraternity has been very good where this is concerned,” he said. “It wasn’t easy because kids want to play and, for some people, this is a full-time job. But if I have to grade the football fraternity, I think we did a very good job.

“[…] We have seen an increase in 5v5 scrimmages going on at different parks. We are not blind to that. But I don’t know of any teams conducting training. We have already wrapped up for the year.”

Griffith confirmed that a QPCC official—not De Freitas—asked him for advice about holding training sessions last month. He said his answer was ‘no’.

“QPCC talked to us and I told them no they cannot do it,” said Griffith. “[…] I cannot allow it, that is a no no—as unfortunate as it is… The rules are clear.”

For the first week of December, the daily average of new Covid-19 cases stood at 15. If this infection rate holds, or improves, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is expected to further loosen restrictions in the new year.

However, the Ministry of Health remains concerned about a spike in infections over the Christmas season. As such, citizens—inclusive of football coaches, players, and parents—are urged to be disciplined and civic-minded for just a while longer.

For sport teams who try to operate secretly, Deyalsingh was clear: you are breaking the law.


Sports tourism has been identified by both the current and previous governments as a potentially lucrative niche market in which Trinidad & Tobago has a distinct competitive advantage. In addition to already regularly hosting an array of athletic activities, including golf, yachting, boating, cricket, horse racing, powerboat racing, tennis, cycling and football, T&T, especially Trinidad, features a robust network of sports infrastructure with significant capacity. The segment’s contribution to overall economic development not only hinges upon the number, quality and duration of sporting events hosted, but also the country’s ability to attract non-competitive events such as conferences, meetings and training programmes. The potential economic benefits are significant and include revenues generated not only from events, but from the increased demand for hotel accommodation, transportation services, food and beverages, entertainment, television and media coverage, advertising, and health and medical services. Therefore, it is essential that all components of the sports tourism value chain work effectively for T&T to benefit from the potential advantages.

Growing Potential
On a global level, tourism receipts grew by 5% in 2017 to reach $1.3trn, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, with sports tourism one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, forecast to grow by 41.5% between 2017 and 2021. The segment in T&T has mirrored global trends, with the number of sports tourists nearly tripling from about 1600 visitors in 2010 to Sports tourism’s contribution to broader economic development will depend on T&T’s ability to attract non-competitive events such as conferences, meetings and training programmes 6315 in 2015, according to the Immigration Division of T&T. Meanwhile, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs (MSYA) figures show that if sports tourists continue to rise by 4500 every five years, T&T can expect over 10,500 sports tourism arrivals by 2020.

In total, the country is home to five multipurpose stadiums, including the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago; eight indoor sporting arenas; five 25-metre community swimming pools; one national ice hockey facility; and three major golf courses.

Also included in the country’s sports stock are the recently expanded 250-metre National Cycling Velodrome in Balmain, with capacity for 2500 people; the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, which holds two 50-metre event pools, a 25-metre diving pool and capacity for 700 people; and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, which hosted the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) cricket championship tournament in both 2017 and 2018.

Hosting Events
T&T is no stranger to hosting major athletic events. As far back as 2001, the country was the destination of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship, for which it constructed four FIFA-standard stadiums — three in Trinidad and one in Tobago — with a total seating capacity of 37,500. Additionally, several smaller grounds were upgraded for use as practice pitches, and the already existing Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain had new seating and a flood-proof playing field installed.

As part of a more recent push to showcase the country’s events potential, in January 2018 T&T hosted the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Women’s Under-20 Championship, the Pan American Badminton Male and Female Team Continental Championships the following month, as well as the Caribbean International Invitational Open Combat Sports Championship in April. Darryl Smith, the minister of sport and youth affairs, told local press in February 2018 that hosting regional competitions would help continue the country’s sports tourism drive. “One of the main objectives of the MSYA – and we have been doing a pretty good job at it – was to push sports tourism. We hosted the highest number of international events in our history [in 2017].”

Although the segment is still in its early stages, signs are pointing to significant increases in activity over the coming years. In anticipation of this, in October 2016 the T&T Hospitality and Tourism Institute launched the first sports tourism master’s programme in the country, and is expected to significantly increase skills training in the segment.

Global Appeal
The destination has the temperate climate and structural capacity to facilitate a wide range of professional and amateur sport events. Currently, there is rising interest in cricket and soccer, but already existing fields could be used for various sports in the off-season. Specifically, there is large untapped potential with US universities. T&T could offer training facilities to baseball, lacrosse and other field sports teams during the winter, as the weather is relatively mild during the winter months, averaging 27°C year-round. While Puerto Rico has historically served as the main practice destination for US university sports teams, the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which struck in September 2017 affected many of the facilities. Being outside of the hurricane belt, T&T’s sports facilities are intact. “Trinidad has the same temperature throughout the year,” Charles Carvalho, CEO of local tourism operator Carvalho Agencies, told OBG. “In winter, when athletes in cold countries need to practise, they could come to T&T since we already have the infrastructure in place. Over the last few years, the government has built several professional sporting facilities throughout Trinidad.”

State Policy
The country had been without an official tourism policy for almost six years as the most recent guidelines expired in 2012. In January 2018, however, the Ministry of Tourism released a draft of the Sport Tourism Policy of T&T (STPTT), which highlights the broader advantages of developing the segment. On an economic level, hosting events can help reduce poverty in communities through the development of small business and the upskilling of community members needed to welcome, host and serve the influx of visitors.

It is also expected that boosting sports tourism numbers will contribute to other segments, such as ecotourism and cultural travel, as visitors already in the country may seek to spend their free time on activities beyond sporting events. Local infrastructure upgrades will also lead to new roads and transport networks as well as the expansion of telecoms networks, benefitting the country as a whole.

The policy has received broader administrative support, with Colm Imbert, the minister of finance, pledging the government’s commitment to boosting the segment as part of the nation’s economic diversification strategy. Key to the STPTT will be securing the economic sustainability of sports tourism by attracting and hosting a continuous stream of international and regional sporting events, championships, tournaments, competitions and training camps. However, hosting successful events hinges on the availability and accessibility of adequate, well-maintained infrastructure beyond sporting facilities, including accommodation, air and road transportation networks and other ancillary services, such as food and beverage, entertainment and public safety. Therefore, investments are necessary beyond athletic infrastructure to create an ecosystem conducive for the growth of sports tourism.

Direct Investment
On top of this, the government has pledged to invest directly in a number of tournaments. An economic impact assessment conducted by the organisers of the CPLT20 reported that the 2016 championship tournament generated $20.4m in visitor expenditure, up 31% from the previous year. Additionally, the tourism boards of Barbados, St Lucia and Guyana each negotiated shirt sponsorship deals with their respective premier league franchises, resulting in significant revenue generation and gains in media value. In the 2017 the CPLT20 cricket championship final attracted 37.6m viewers worldwide and generated TT$23m ($3.4m) in revenues for the country. More recently, the government provided TT$20m ($3m) to host three finals of the CPLT20 championship games, which took place in August and September 2018.

With the recently constructed National Cycling Velodrome and National Aquatic Centre, as well as other sports facilities throughout the country, T&T is set to increase the number of regional and international sporting events it hosts, especially if the country wins the right to the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games. What is clear, however, is that the government has recognised that athletics can be a vital part of broader economic development.

December 4 – The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) has launched its first SIGA Youth Forum that will take take place on January 27-28 next month.

The two-day online forum will comprise 12 digital webinar sessions, and is aimed at young leaders, under 30 years of age, from around the world with the aim of promoting youth empowerment in and through sport.

SIGA recently formed its own Youth Council to give young sports-focussed administrators and athletes a voice within the integrity area.

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, global CEO of SIGA and chairman & CEO of SIGA AMERICA, said: “A global movement is emerging with Youth at the helm and Sport Integrity at its core. Bridging the insights of the world’s youth, the passion of genuine fans and the foresight of visionary leaders, SIGA is setting the path for the future of Sport.

Topics will cover:

  • Creating Global Dynamics for Effective Cultural Change
  • The Power of Technology, Social Media and Digital
  • For a Sport with Values: Race, Gender, Diversity & Inclusion!
  • Accountability: Creating Pressure on Sports Organisations to Reform Themselves
  • Sport Integrity: Vision 2030
  • Social Responsibility and the Power of Athletes to influence Social Changes
  • Why Global Business Needs to Do More for Sport Integrity
  • Youth Development and Child Protection in Sport: Walking the Talk
  • Start-ups and Entrepreneurs: Shaping Sport Integrity Now
  • Careers in Sport Integrity: Opening the Door to the Next Generation
  • eSports: the Integrity Challenges of the Fastest Growing Sport
  • Clean Sport: Mission Impossible?

Attendance at the forum is free of charge. To register click here.


Coinciding with the launch of the SIGA Youth Forum, the integrity group has launched its latest campaign – #StandWithSIGA – that encourages individuals and organisations to sign up to its core integrity goals of:


  • Sports Organisations must govern themselves and operate under the highest governance principles, including democracy, transparency, accountability and stakeholder engagement.


  • Sports Organisations must uphold and respect the fundamental principles of sports ethics, which reflect the values of fair play, solidarity, respect for the rule of law, human rights, dignity, integrity, diversity and inclusiveness.


  • Sports Organisations must take accountability for their own affairs and implement a zero-tolerance policy against all types criminality (including corruption, bribery, money-laundering, tax evasion, smuggling and trafficking of minors), as well as racism, violence and all forms of abuse and discrimination.


  • Whilst recognising Sport’s specific nature and autonomy, Sports Organisations must respect and comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the governance, regulation and administration of Sport.


  • Sports Organisations must implement and comply with the SIGA Universal Standards on Sport Integrity and be independently scrutinised through SIRVS.

Register your support here.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.llabtoofdlrowedisni@noslohcin.luap