National cyclist Njisane Phillip maintained his consistency yesterday at the Elite Pan American Cycling Championships in Chile, but will be hoping for a medal for the first time today in the men’s sprint. Phillip will line up in the semifinals of the sprint today from 4 pm T&T time against Canadian Hugo Barrette. Barrette defeated Phillip in the final of the sprint at the Pan Am Games in July.

Kwesi Browne and Quincy Alexander also represented T&T in the sprint, but unfortunately did not advance past the first round. Earlier in the qualifying round, Phillip qualified with the second fastest time after clocking 9.850 seconds. Browne was 15th fastest in 10.209 seconds, while Alexander was 18th with a time of 10.280 seconds.

On Thursday, Phillip missed out on a medal for the second time after finishing fourth in the men’s keirin final. Finishing ahead of Phillip in the final were Colombian Fabian Puerta (gold), Venezuelan Hersony Canelon (silver) and Brazilian Kacio Da Silva (bronze). The T&T cyclist advanced to the final after finishing third in his semi-final heat.

It was Phillip’s second fourth-place finish at the Championships. On Wednesday in the men’s team sprint, Phillip along with Jude Codrington and Kwesi Browne ended fourth overall after Brazil edged T&T in the bronze medal ride.

On Friday, Teniel Campbell finished seventh overall when she broke the national record in the women’s 3km individual pursuit with a time of three minutes, 56.863 seconds (3:56.863). Campbell became the first T&T woman to dip below the four-minute mark, bettering the time set last year by Christiane Farah of 4:01.164.

In the women’s flying 200m, Jodi Goodridge and Aziza Browne both set personal bests of 12.200 and 12.340 seconds respectively, but finished 13th and 14th in the qualifying round. Only the top 12 cyclists advanced to the next round. Endurance riders Jovian Gomez and Gavyn Nero tied for 12th in the men’s point race. Justin Roberts displayed a creditable performance for T&T in the 1km time trial, recording a personal best at sea level in 1:02.786 for a fifth place finish.

Varun Maharajh is currently tied for sixth place after three races in the six-event men’s omnium. Maharajh got off to a slow start, finishing eighth in the scratch race and seventh in the 4km individual pursuit with a time of 4:35.463. He then showed top form to capture the elimination event and move to 94 points. It is a close battle for podium spots, as only six points seperate second place and eighth place.


Mega and small scale sport tourism has the potential to contribute to the social, cultural, economic and infrastructural development of the host country or city. Sport tourism involves the travel of persons for non-business reasons to participate and or observe sporting activities (Hall, 1992).

Mega sporting events include the hosting of World Cups for such sports such as football, cricket, and rugby. Small scale sporting events include triathlons, marathons and a leg of the formula one grand prix. 

According to Zauhar (2003) sport tourism involves a number of activities. In addition to either participating and or observing sporting events, persons who travel for sport tourism may also have a vested interest in visiting state of the art sporting facilities such as stadiums. 

These may include for example, Lords cricket ground in England, Roland Garros in Paris, Maracana Stadium in Brazil and the Millennium rugby stadium in Wales. In addition to the iconic sporting stadiums appeal, sport tourists may also show an interest in sporting hall of fames and sport museums such as the Legends of Barbados cricket museum. 

Sport tourists may not always be interested in traditional competitive sports and may find adventurous activities far more inviting and appealing to their leisure taste. Some of these adventurous activities may include bungee jumping stations, zip line canopy tours, hiking trails, water adventures such snorkeling and golf. 

Sport tourism offers several economic benefits to local communities, the region and or the country. An estimated 680,000 persons from overseas attended the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. These visitors generated enormous economic activity through different forms of expenditure on sporting and non-sporting activities. There was an increased demand for various forms of accommodation—hotels and guest houses. 

Similarly there was an increase in demand for sporting paraphernalia such replica tee shirts, sneakers etc. Non-sporting products expenditure included food, beverages, phones, cameras, and other electronic accessories that are associated with travelers. According to Hassen (2003) the 2003 Cricket World generated 1.3 billion Rands for the South African economy. 

Sport tourism provides the host country with high media coverage. This coverage will cover not only the sporting event but also provide important information about the country’s cultural and entertainment locations as well as an overall country profile. 

Such information would have been provided when the Caribbean played host to two cricket world cups in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago would have benefitted from the media coverage when it hosted the 2001 FIFA U17 World Cup for boys and the 2010 FIFA World Cup for girls. 

Mega and small sporting events not only offer athletes and officials opportunities to establish strong social bonds but also allow sport tourists the opportunity to forge long lasting social connections with persons from host cities and countries. These bonds have the potential to result in future travels between countries and so deepening the benefits of tourism.

According to Morrison (2005) mega sporting events provide a platform to incorporate social and cultural features of the host community/city/country into the overall tourist experience. These events are good occasions to showcase the cultural heritage of the country such as its history, historical sites, food, music, art, architecture, and overall what makes the host unique and interesting to want to return in the immediate future.

Sport tourism does not only result from the visiting and expenditure from tourists but also involves the development of local infrastructure such as stadia, hotels, transportation networks, roads, telecommunication, airports and other infrastructure. Such developments will provide long term benefits to communities where they have been established.

The potential benefits of sports tourism can only be realised if several challenges are overcome especially in the developing world. In countries where crime and matters of security are a major concern persons considering to travel to these destination maybe discouraged to engage in any form of sport tourism. 

Additionally, the allegations of corruption and financial scandals may also serve as a discouragement.

The overall success of any sporting tourism event is dependent upon management. Poor management due to financial impropriety, poor planning, lack of efficient customer service, and a host of other management’s drawbacks may serve as a major Achilles heel for the success of any sport tourism event. 

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2011) sport tourism has the potential to being powerful tool for development and progress. However, for this to be accomplished to reap the benefits of sports tourism proper planning and management of events have to be undertaken.

Louise Martin's election here as the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) capped a productive couple of weeks for British sport administrators, following, as it did, Sebastian Coe beating Sergey Bubka to become head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in Beijing last month.

In fact, British officials have not held this many positions of influence for probably more than 50 years. Besides Martin and Coe, Sir Craig Reedie is President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as being vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, and Sir Philip Craven heads the International Paralympic Committee.

Brian Cookson and Kate Caithness, meanwhile, are Presidents of the International Cycling Union and World Curling Federation respectively, meaning Britons head three International Federations on the Olympic programme.

Britain's reputation for producing able sports administrators has been largely restored by the success of the last two major events staged in the country. In fact, both Coe and Martin each used their close involvement in the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as the launchpads for their respective campaigns, although neither admitted they were planning to stand at the time, of course.

The extensive travelling to meet and greet foreign officials during the build-up to each Games proved pivotal in their eventual success. Martin, the vice-chair of Glasgow 2014, visited 64 Commonwealth countries and territories as the Queen's Baton Relay toured the globe last year, often spending less than 24 hours in each country, although she apparently never missed the opportunity to teach her international friends the dashing white sergeant. Coe, meanwhile, undertook another world tour in the build-up to the final IAAF vote, estimating he travelled 700,000 kilometres.

Of the two elections, Martin's victory was arguably the more unexpected. It is notoriously difficult to unseat a sitting President of an organisation, especially when you are a woman in a man's world.

Prince Imran's fate was probably sealed, we have now come to realise, when at the CGF General Assembly in Glasgow in 2013 he backed a plan to relocate the organisation's headquarters from London to Kuala Lumpur in his home country Malaysia. The crassness of how it was handled shocked the CGF members, who were appalled to hear on the morning of the Assembly that redundancy notices had already been issued to the staff members working in London before they had even had the opportunity to discuss and vote on the proposal.

The plan was defeated as opposition, led by African and Caribbean countries, rallied strongly against the idea. The Commonwealth Games may be dismissed by its critics as a sporting event that celebrates British imperialism but those countries who are part of the CGF are proud of being part of a Movement that has its roots in London and its links with the British monarchy. They did not want those links cut. It was a terrible error of judgement by Prince Imran.

Prince Imran pointed out during his presentation here that the idea to move the headquarters from London was not his alone and had been taken by the CGF Executive Board - of which Martin was a member as the honorary secretary - following a study carried out in 2012 by professional services firm KPMG. They had identified Kuala Lumpur as the ideal place to relocate too after considering a number of factors, including tax efficiency and the costs of overheads. But his refusal to acknowledge that, as President, he should take ultimate responsibility for what happened continued to anger delegates here.

This, coupled with the refusal by Prince Imran,  the second son of the late Tuanku Jaafar, the former monarch of Negeri Sembilan, one of the 13 states of Malaysia, to lobby during the campaign reinforced the belief among many of the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGA) that he was aloof and out of touch with their needs.

It was certainly an eye-opener, having come here from the IAAF election where Member Federations - ranging from the smallest, such as Nauru, to the biggest, like Russia - were lobbied hard and relentlessly right up to the last minute by teams representing Coe and Bubka. In every election, those with a vote like to be made to feel like they are valued, something Prince Imran failed to do spectacularly here. Starting your presentation by apologising for not having shaken everyone's hand is not going to make anyone feel special.

Prince Imran's dislike of "politicking", as he called it, left an open field for Martin, a former swimmer who reached the finals of both the 100 and 200 metres backstroke at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth. to exploit. Her manifesto, "Unlocking Our Potential", was produced with the help of Vero Communications, the strategic communications agency set-up by former London 2012 head of communications Mike Lee, who had worked so hard on the successful campaigns of Coe and Cookson. She also received assistance from Government agency UK Sport, who are committed to helping Britons get elected into positions of power.

Martin's familiarity with the CGA members and the ease and warmth with which she moved among them, having been secretary of the CGF since 1999, enabled the Scotswoman to hoover up votes like a human Dyson. Even up to a few minutes before the delegates came to cast their votes, it was claimed the election was too close to call. In the end, though, Martin won so easily that one CGA was told the CGF would not be publishing how many votes each candidate received for fear of "humiliating" Prince Imran.

Prince Imran is a good man and was incredibly gracious in his defeat afterwards. It  was painful to watch him, though, having to continue to chair the rest of the Assembly with Martin sat to his left. In the end, he really appeared to have little to offer the CGF apart from a half-hearted plea to be allowed to continue so he could oversee the implementation of "Transformation 2022", the Commonwealth Games' version of Agenda 2020, the roadmap adopted by the International Olympic Committee.

Just like Coe did during the IAAF election, Martin is promising to help provide financial support for the voters who backed her and increase revenues, including recruiting blue-chip companies to sponsor the CGF. It is easy to make these promises but now both must deliver. Martin's task will surely be the harder. At least Coe has a product everyone understands - even if it is one slightly tarnished at the moment.

Martin, however, is trying to sell something few people outside the club understand, even if the statistics are staggering. The Commonwealth covers more than 11,566,870 square miles, almost a quarter of the world land area, spans all the continents and has an estimated population of 2.328 billion, nearly a third of the world population.

On the face of it, you would have thought companies would be queuing up to be associated with an event that reaches so much of the world. The truth is, to most people, the Commonwealth Games' association with colonialism makes it seem an outdated idea. Martin's target will be to make it appear relevant in a changing world, including appealing to cities to host the event so the CGF does not end up with anther situation like it did here when Durban was the only bidder for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

If she can get sponsors and cities dancing to her tune with as much enthusiasm as she got potential voters when she taught them the dashing white sergeant, then she will go down in the history books for being more than the first female President of the CGF.


Sports leaders are often keen to ascribe a higher purpose to the gloriously trivial pursuits to which they owe their positions.

Hence last year’s agreement aimed at strengthening collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC); hence FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s dogged attempts to use football to help map out a modus vivendi between Israel and Palestine.

Well, guess what guys? – the migrant crisis that has finally surged to the top of Europe’s news agenda hands many of you a golden opportunity to show just how serious sport is about its desire to make the world a better place.

Not in some idealistic, half-glimpsed vision of the future, but now.

No, sport cannot step into the shoes of Government.

As IOC President Thomas Bach said when signing the agreement with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Sport can change the world, but it cannot change the world alone.”

It can, however, do two helpful and important things while we wait for bureaucratic levers to grind into action and, perhaps, for Europe’s selfish and complacent immigration policies to be adjusted.

1. It can spawn hope by taking rapid, unilateral steps which, whilst they may constitute little more than gestures when set against the scale of the underlying problem, set a positive example that others may follow.

2. It can set the tone by transmitting messages that make it crystal clear that sports bodies view these poor people unlucky enough to have been born in the wrong place at the wrong time as fellow human beings and members of global society, and not quasi-criminals itching for the chance to undermine western values and living standards.

Bearing this in mind, I am struggling to think of a media release by a sports body more admirable than the one published on Thursday by Bayern Munich, the German football club.

This set out four simple, concrete ways in which the biggest club in the world champion country of the planet’s richest sport will try to help; all seem well thought-through, realistic and, well, helpful.

In summary, Bayern will a) establish a training camp for refugees, with attendees provided with German classes, meals and football kit; b) donate €1 million from a friendly match to refugee support projects; c) arrange for its players to be escorted onto the pitch before its next match against FC Augsburg by refugee children as well as German children; d) arrange via the club’s charity foundation for refugee families to be provided with pre-Christmas events and activities.

“We at FC Bayern consider it our socio-political responsibility to help displaced and needy children, women and men, supporting and assisting them in Germany,” said club chairman, and former German international footballer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bayern’s aid package followed a ground-breaking gesture by another leading German club, Borussia Dortmund, which invited refugees to a match, and by fans, who unfurled “Refugees Welcome” banners.

One of the good things about all this, or so I would argue, is that the givers are benefiting as well as the recipients: the positive publicity Germany is getting for the generous and enlightened attitude towards migrants it is now displaying has countered the negative press it was receiving in many quarters (rightly, in my view) over Greece.

Another sports leader who has been singing from the same song-sheet, albeit in a sport with only a fraction of football’s financial muscle, is Chungwon Choue, President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

Choue told me in a recent interview that a body called the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation is close to being set up that will send teams of people to refugee camps to teach not just taekwondo, but “to teach young kids, What is Olympism? What is world peace? And also how to live as a good world citizen.”

Choue traced the origins of the idea back to a conversation with a Jordanian Taekwondo Association official.

“He told me, President, we have two million Syrian refugees in Jordan,” Choue recalled.

“The young kids are there doing nothing.”

To say that events over the month or so since the interview have highlighted the urgency of this type of initiative would be a considerable understatement.

“I do believe all Olympic sports should have a responsibility to contribute to human society,” said Choue, sounding a lot like Rummenigge.

“Now is the time to create these kinds of humanitarian foundations.”

Let’s hope that the appalling scenes many of us in Europe have been made aware of in recent days will prompt plenty more sports bodies to follow the example of Bayern and Borussia.

The continent remains the epicentre of world sports administration.

It is only right that this industry does its bit to help alleviate the world’s problems when they present themselves with such urgency and when a little bit of thought and effort can make a big difference.

Shortly after this blog was written, the IOC announced an emergency $2 million fund aimed at helping refugees.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced that an emergency fund of $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.8 million) will be made available to National Olympic Committees to fund programmes aimed at helping refugees.

Thomas Bach, IOC President, said the decision to set up the fund was taken quickly in response to the growing crisis which has seen refugees attempt to reach Europe in search of safety.

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  has revealed that more than 300,000 refugees and migrants have attempted to reach the continent so far this year by making dangerous sea crossings across the Mediterranean after leaving unstable areas in Africa and the Middle East.

More than 2,600 migrants and refugees have believed to have died in making the crossings so far this year and Bach hopes the new fund will help those trying to deal with the growing crisis.

“We have all been touched by the terrible news and the heartbreaking stories in the past few days,” he said.

“With this terrible crisis unfolding across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, sport and the Olympic Movement wanted to play its part in bringing humanitarian help to the refugees.

“We made a quick decision that we needed to take action and to make this fund available immediately.

“Because of the nature of the crisis the assessment of projects and the distribution of funds will be carried out extremely quickly.

“We are able to work on the ground with our partners in the National Olympic Committees and the expert agencies to get help to where it is needed most urgently.”

National Olympic Committees and other interested parties have been asked to submit projects aimed at helping the refugees, with $1 million (£650,000//€1.8 million) having come directly from the IOC while the other half of the fund is from Olympic Solidarity.

The IOC have also stated they will continue to work with and be guided by the United Nations (UN), whom they signed a collaboration agreement with in April 2014, to contribute to efforts to aid refugees.

Additionally they are also hoping to utilise the expertise of the UNHCR, having worked alongside the agency for the past two decades to deliver sport programmes and donate equipment to refugees.

“We have a long term relationship with the United Nations and with the UNHCR and we draw on their help and expertise,” Bach said.

“We know through experience that sport can ease the plight of refugees, many of them young people and children, be they in the Middle East, Africa, Europe or in other parts of the world.

“Our thoughts are with the many refugees risking their lives and the lives of their families to escape danger.”

Earlier this year former IOC President Jacques Rogge, in his new role as Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport, vowed to increase sporting opportunities for South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia following a visit to the Gambella region.

The IOC Honorary President also visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan last October, which currently has 5,000 shelters housing around 18,000 refugees.


T&T relinquished a two-goal lead as Mexico hit back to steal a 3-3 draw in their international friendly at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday night. Just over a month ago, the Soca Warriors rallied from a similiar two goals down to steal a late 4-4 draw with “El Tri” but on Friday it took a stunning 84th minute strike from Hector Herrera to complete a Mexican comeback from two goals down before some 20,000 Mexican fans.

Despite conceding late, the “Soca Warriors” left the stadium with a burning sense of pride as they more than held their own against the reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champion and had the partisan Mexican crowd quiet for long periods during the encounter. Stephen Hart’s men made another statement to its fans and its upcoming CONCACAF opponents in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

“It was a performance and a result that left me leaving the venue pleased tonight,” Hart said. “I thought at times we looked very organised. We were a bit indecisive at centre back a couple of times but other than that we looked very organised. I was really pleased with Glenn and how he put in a lot of work all along. We went on top but it was a great goal to tie it up. Overall I’m satisfied.” 

Both teams played without some regular starters with Kenwyne Jones and Sheldon Bateau missing for T&T while Javier Hernandez  and Andres Guardado were on the bench for Mexico and Jesus Corona and Giovani Dos Santos were not in the team. The game though had all the ingredients of a proper contest.

T&T settled quickly, causing Mexico to appear almost edgy at times and their fans were left stunned in the seventh minute when Keron Cummings’ attempted shot at goal took a deflection and fell nicely for Jonathan Glenn who made the far post run to neatly head home for 1-0 T&T lead. “It was just the start we wanted. What it did was showed us that we don’t have to chase an opponent like Mexico everytime we play them and this kind of start would help us realise this,” Hart said.

Mexico just couldn’t seem to get a foot in the door as Hart’s men remained solid, composed and were in no mood to be pushed around.

The Mexicans did have their moments but it would be T&T who surged further ahead. Glenn, making his first start for T&T, produced a clever challenge on Oswaldo Alanis that won the ball on the edge of the box before playing over for an awaiting Cummings to side foot into the net. T&T was now up 2-0 in the 39th minute. A first time scoreline since the 4-0 win for T&T in the 1974 World Cup qualifier when Everald “Gally Cummings notched a double.

“Going 2-0 up, despite them scoring just before the break was a good thing for us,” said Hart. Mexico, playing its first game under interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti, hit back before the break with Carlos Esquivel heading past captain Jan Michael Williams in the 40th. Ten minutes into the second half, Mexico levelled the scores when Raul Jimenez’s shot was headed into the net by T&T defender Daneil Cyrus.

T&T never lost control of its game and didn’t allow Mexico to pull away either. Chicago Fire’s Joevin Jones wiggled his way into the Mexican penalty area but couldn’t get his shot off before hitting the turf in what appeared to be a foul on the player. And later on  Khaleem Hyland directed his effort wide of the upright. 

Jones made amends in the 69th minute with a perfectly taken left-footed free-kick which left goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera flatfooted on his line. Hart made a few changes, bringing on Trevin Caesar, Mekeil Williams, Kevan George, Willis Plaza and Neveal Hackshaw in the second half. Mexico began to forge forward in desperate search of the equaliser and eventually got it with Herrara’s laser-like strike into the top left corner past Williams five minutes from time.

T&T will now look ahead to the October 8 international friendly away to Panama while Mexico faces Argentina in Dallas on Tuesday. T&T begins its 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign on November 13 against either Antigua/Barbuda or Guatemala and will then host United States on November 17.