RIA RAMNARINE’S brainchild female empowering initiative, ‘Boxing Beyond The Ring’, has been hailed as a model initiative by the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Programme (ICECP) and is now set to be implemented in Uganda in February 2016.

Having been especially invited as peer mentor to the first module (September 19-22) of this year’s ICECP at the University of Delaware Campus in Newark, Ramnarine was priviledged to once again share her life-changing experiences throughout ‘Boxing Beyond The Ring’ with participants of the 2015/ 2016 course. The former Trinidad and Tobago top-ranked female fighter was specifically chosen by ICECP Univeristy of Delaware director Matthew J Robinson to take part in this year’s programme, having been a model participant in the 2014 edition by making such a positive impact through her exploits ‘beyond the ring’.

As part of the IECEP, Ramnarine developed ‘Boxing Beyond the Ring’, an initiative designed to encourage female participation in boxing by highlighting the sport’s physiological and psychological benefits, including an increase in self-efficacy, empowerment and personal safety.

“I’ve been privileged to become part of two ICECP groups, although not a student of ICECP’s 8th edition,” shesaid. “But the group made me one of their own after the few days I spent with them, sharing advice, giving support and basically fulfilling the responsibility of being the mentor. They were a great bunch who I am sure will be very successful and make the most of ICECP.

I’d like to thank the USOC, Olympic Solidarity and University of Delaware for giving us coaches such a beneficial and amazing opportunity, and also for recommending me to this programme.

More so, my ICECP brainchild, Boxing Beyond the Ring, is set to be implemented in Uganda next February.” According to the ex-national pugilist, her recent experiences have provided her with the opportunity to become a better coach and has even propelled her into the MEMOS program.

MEMOS is an Executive Masters in Sport Organisation Management, offered by Olympic Solidarity and the University of Louvain.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ramnarine, an honours graduate of the seventh edition of the ICECP and former world champion in women’s boxing from Trinidad and Tobago also credited the works of all ICECP directors and Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president, Brian Lewis.

“I cannot express how truly honoured I am to be asked to return and share my experiences with this year’s class. The ICECP is a great programme and I am humbled to be able to have this.” The recently-completed ICECP module featured coaches representing 34 countries and 14 sports in five continents. The 2015- 16 programme, divided into four modules, started in September and will run until May at the University of Delaware, the U.S.

Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, apprenticeship sites around the US and the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The programme aims at assisting national- level coaches in developing proficiency in the areas of sport sciences, talent identification, athlete development, safe sport, coaching education, coaching management and grassroots sport development. The intended outcome is for ICECP participants to return to their countries and serve as coaches within their respective sports while becoming foundation builders for future coaches and athletes and spreading the Olympic spirit.

“In the past seven years we have worked with over 190 coaches and the ICECP has impacted sport in over 80 countries through the efforts of the past participants,” said Robinson, UD sport management program director. “Past participants have risen to positions of leadership in their National Olympic Committees and sport federations, and have enhanced the well-being of athletes in their countries.

We will challenge this year’s class to aspire to the same goals.

ICECP would not be possible without our colleagues here at UD and in the sport community around the U.S. So many committed professionals contribute to the success of ICECP. It is a true team effort on the part of the U.S. sport community.”


Given the current situation with the problems afflicting West Indies cricket, Queen’s Park manager Jeffrey Guillen is calling for the resignation of the entire West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

On Monday, coach Phil Simmons was suspended for his public comments concerning the continued snubbing of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard by the West Indies selectors for the ODI team.

Guillen who attended the WICB Town Hall meeting in Trinidad last week and asked the president of the WICB, why he didn’t resign after the Indian fiasco said: “We have reached a state in our cricket now where we are in serious problems and I have been calling for the president of the board to resign after India but I think the entire board should go now and let us start over with new men and implement the PJ Patterson report on the governance of West Indies cricket.

“Our problems being faced today was in the making for the last 20 years and this is because of the weak governance structures in the territorial boards. We have people who I think can do much better in administering West Indies cricket, let us give them chance.

“It is going to be very difficult to get any changes to the set of the WICB but all cricket fans as stakeholders must do what it takes to be heard and apply pressure for change.”

Guillen added that chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd is not telling the real story as far as the omission of Pollard and Bravo is concerned. “We have a situation here where Lloyd is now in favour of Bravo and Pollard coming back into the ODI team.

He is not telling the real story because in January when they were overlooked for the South African series he said that Bravo was over the hill and Pollard was not performing well enough to be on the team.

“They have not played much cricket to prove otherwise to him and yet he comes now and supports the guys coming back in. This to me is very puzzling because all of a sudden Bravo it seems is not over the hill any more. There are a lot of unanswered questions concerning this situation and it is clearly a case of the players being victimised by the WICB for the aborted Indian tour.

“The board and Lloyd needs to come clean. We have a situation where Simmons speaks his mind because he has always had West Indies interest at heart. Here is a man who nearly died on the field for West Indies cricket, so we know where his heart lies. He is a hard working honest man and now he is suspended by these bunch of jokers. We are not going to take this easy, we are going to continue to make noise for accountability in West Indies cricket.”


ZURICH—Four years after stepping down in disgrace, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner was banned from soccer for life yesterday, accused of repeated acts of bribery related to World Cup bidding votes.

 Fifa president Sepp Blatter and European football chief Michel Platini are facing an investigation by Fifa's ethics committee.

The move comes after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter, 79.

He is accused of signing a contract "unfavourable" to football's governing body and making a "disloyal payment" to Uefa president Platini, 60.

Blatter denies wrongdoing and his lawyer says he is co-operating fully.

The ethics committee is looking into the circumstances of a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.35m) that Platini received in 2011 for work said to have been carried out more than nine years previously, reported the Press Association.

Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Blatter on Friday.

Platini - who worked as Blatter's technical advisor between 1999 and 2002 - was interviewed as a witness by officers from the attorney general's office.

The Frenchman is yet to explain the nine-year delay in payment but he too denies any wrongdoing.


THREE-TIME Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson spent roughly two hours in blazing sun on the running track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday, guiding a group of athletically talented kids through a series of exercises and drills used by track athletes in training. It was an effort in keeping with the character of one of the country’s most popular athletes; a man whose humility and commitment to country has always stood out.

“You can’t build a strong house if you don’t have a strong foundation,” he told reporters following the session. “This is the purpose of what we’re doing here today — we’re trying to target some of the younger ones because they will be the ones that we expect to win the gold medals by 2024; not Keston Bledman, not Richard Thompson, not Marc Burns- you know, we’ve been around for a while.” The event was the final stage of the track and field element of the Atlantic Sporting Ambassador Programme that seeks to develop talented TT youths who show potential in several sporting disciplines, including swimming, cricket and sailing. A fortnight ago, Thompson had started with a group of already developing athletes. This clinic targeted kids between the ages of eight and 12; but yesterday, he had more than just track in mind.

“We wanted to introduce them to track and create awareness for sport and exercising at that age,” he explained. “A lot of kids now in our generation are stuck in front of the television, playing X-Box, PS3 and PS4. I think it’s my duty to bring them out of the house, show them different exercises, show them what it takes to be a great athlete.” Thompson has been back home for several weeks, going through the first stages of preparation for what could well be his swansong in the most prestigious arena for his sport — the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. Determined to ensure that TT’s tradition of great sprinters continues, he was making his contribution with the 20- odd youngsters who came out yesterday.

“I remember being very young and looking at Hasely Crawford and Ato Boldon and saying, these people are Olympic medalists and Olympians, and maybe it’s just something ingrained in them, they were born with it. But I didn’t know the actual process of coming to training everyday, working hard for many hours, all the different exercises. Those were things I didn’t have any knowledge about, so from a very long age I want to instil that into them, make them aware that if they do these little things each day, day in, day out, if they believe in themselves, have focus and the dedication and the discipline...” The partnership with Atlantic, therefore, came naturally. Derek Daniel, Atlantic’s Brand and Communications manager explained that yesterday’s exercise was an extension of a programme that has been running for over a decade.

“We invest heavily in the youth development area in sports,” he told Newsday.

“Atlantic has been the sponsor of primary schools cricket for the last 12 years; this is our tenth anniversary with football this year and with track and field, four years. We believe that this is where the future lies, so our investment is primarily around the youth of TT.” Thompson confessed that having been through the mill himself, he had long wanted to impart the basics to those who are likely to replace his generation of athletes.

“A lot of the things that we focused on today were very basic,” he said, adding, “But I would say, for the age group that we are dealing with, I am almost certain that around TT they aren’t doing these little exercises, so as basic as it may seem to a lot of people, at this age it’s new to them and they would have gained a lot of knowledge today.” Yesterday’s target group would be approaching maturity in 2024, the year TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis has set in the drive he champions for TT to achieve ten Olympic medals.

Asked for comment, Thompson explained why he was in support of it.

“I think it’s a realistic goal, as long as we start putting that in their minds from now. Brian Lewis I think has a great campaign there, and even if it is that we don’t win ten gold medals in 2024. My dad always told me when I was younger, you aim for the stars and the clouds; worstcase scenario, you end up on the rooftop, so you’re still higher than ground level.

Even if we end up with five gold medals in 2024, it would be a step up from where we are right now.” Thompson plans to visit a couple of schools in the coming week, hoping to reach out and inspire other talented youngsters; one of them, he said, will be the former El Dorado Secondary which played a significant role in the development of the likes of Darrel Brown, Marc Burns and Dion Rodriguez, among others.


Former national midfielder Dexter Skeene says the T&T Pro League is determined to make a positive difference in football throughout T&T, and the youth and young people of the nation.

Skeene, the Pro League’s Chief Executive Officer, made this statement while delivering his address at the opening of the 2015/2016 season of the Pro League at the VIP, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday.

Speaking to the crowd on hand which included former national standouts in Sedley Joseph and Everald “Gally” Cummings,  Skeene said, “I welcome you here this morning (yesterday) with a tremendous feeling of pride.”

He added: “Why? Because as the league stands proudly with its partner Digicel, a  partner who has stood by the league’s vision, players,coaches, board, management, fans and other corporate partners in fighting a noble cause, purpose and mission.

With regards to the Pro League Skeene said there remained those in key decision making positions who continue to misunderstand what the T&T Pro League is about in a place such as T&T.

“But the Pro League can stand proud confident that notwithstanding, at times hostile environment our owners clubs and players and coaches continue to improve on the quality of football that is on display at Digicel TT Pro League Games and Tournaments.

He boasted, “No matter what,  we are determined to make a positive difference in football and through the youth and young people of the nation..

“The Pro League is about building an industry, it’s about developing football as a profession, creating a pathway for youngsters to aspire to earn a living from playing football.

“It is about supplying the national senior team with players like Attaula Guerra, Willis Plaza, Jan-Michael Williams, Joevin Jones, Keron Cummings, who can effectively and efficiently compete at international level.

Reflecting on the start of the league, Skeene noted it all started in 2002 with some innovators, pioneers who had a vision to create an industry with professional football, to take T&T football to the next level.

He said the list included Jerry Hospedales, Jamaal Shabazz, David John-Williams, Darryl Mahabir, Richard Fakoory who had invested over $325 million, in bringing professional football to where it was today.

Comparing both  league, Skeene said when you place everything into context you understand what is required and the life cycle necessary for a successful professional football league.

Skeene said that despite many broken promises, the league would continue to soldier on and make representation for community grounds.

“It was always part of the business model submitted to the Ministry of Sport to the understanding that if this is provided after a few years clubs would have no excuse not to be self-sustaining and viable. Community fields is a critical success factor and I remain convinced when put in place it will be the catalyst to take professional football to the next level.”

“It is about giving our coaches like Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Stewart Charles, Earl Jean, Jamaal Shabaazz, Marvin Gordon, Richard Hood, Leroy De Leon, Anthony Streete, and Keith Jeffrey the opportunity to work full time as coaches just like the Jose Mourinhos and Arsene Wengers of the world.

“We must not limit ourselves; we are just as talented, ambitious and intelligent as anyone anywhere in the world. The TT Pro League is the platform, the stage, the place, the forum where we can achieve greatness, utilising and exposing our indigenous talent.