Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Sport have officially launched their “Podium Push” initiative, designed to help the country’s athletes achieve their target of 10 Olympic and Paralympic gold medals by 2024.

The Ministry's director of sport Gabre McTair vowed to give their athletes the best possible preparation for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and has called on the various sporting bodies in the country to put forward competitors who they think have a realistic prospect of earning a medal.

The scheme will also cover expenses for Trinidadian and Tobago athletes, including travel to overseas competitions, training camps and sessions with nutritionists and psychologists.

“Our Elite Athlete Assistant Programme needed some refocusing to ensure that our sporting elite received proper funding, I recognised that even more was needed to help Brian Lewis and his team at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) achieve their aim of ten gold medals by the year 2024,” McTair said.

“Providing funding to take our top athletes to the Olympics is not enough.

“I realise that getting there is not the challenge but finishing in the top three requires additional commitment and effort from the athletes, coaches support teams and the Ministry of Sport.”

As well as the scheme, launched at an Achievers’ Luncheon hosted by the Ministry of Sport at the grand ballroom of the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, members of the Trinidad and Tobago team at the Special Olympics, which concluded in Los Angeles last month, were awarded plaques for their achievements.

They claimed a haul of 48 medals at the event which included 15 golds, nine silvers and 24 bronzes.

Also honoured at the luncheon were Trinidad and Tobago’s medallists from the recent Pan American Games in Toronto, where they took home three golds, three silvers and two bronzes.

The development is the latest initiative aimed at increasing the success of Trinidad and Tobago at Olympic level and follows the TTOC announcing they plan to turn Lord Harris Square in the capital Port of Spain into an Olympic Village ahead of Rio 2016.

Since making its Olympic debut at London 1948, Trinidad and Tobago have won only two gold medals, Hasely Crawford in the 100 metres at Monteal 1976 and Keshorn Walcott in the javelin at London 2012.

Trinidad and Tobago have never won a Paralympic medal of any colour having competed at both the 1984 and 1988 Games, before they returned at London 2012 following a 24-year absence.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) Advanced Sport Management Course (ASMC) is at the half way mark. The second edition of the TTOC / Olympic Solidarity course began on the 16th May 2015. Scheduled to end on the 28th November 2015, the course will be concluded where participants will present on the overall course impact.


28 participants started the course, with three modules completed; the fourth module begins next week Saturday 22nd August 2015. Kairon Serrette will facilitate the financial management session. Modules already completed: Organizing an Olympic Sport Organization, Managing Human Resource and Managing Strategically facilitated by Mrs. Annette Knott, Ms. Anna Thompson and Ms. Carol Charles Austin respectively.


The main objective of the course is to stimulate change within National Sporting Organizations (NSO). Successful completion of the course requires 100% attendance, plus submissions of one case study for each module and a final report on the impact of the learning process on the participant’s organization.


The course consists of volunteer and paid staff of National Sport Federations/ Associations and other bodies responsible for the development of sport who are involved at a senior level in the management of their organization.  Sports represented are Football, Judo, Karate, Rugby, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Chess, Cricket, Sailing, Swimming, Netball, Squash and the Paralympic Committee.

Calypso Girls beat Samoa to top Pool G

Trinidad and Tobago's “Calypso Girls” clinched top spot in Pool G yesterday after beating Samoa 66-47 for their fourth straight win at the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia.

Having enjoyed wins over Singapore and Zambia in their earlier pool matches and previously Barbados in Pool A in the preliminary, a win yesterday at the Allphones Arena was vital if T&T were to maintain hopes of clinching ninth spot, which is the highest placing they can now hope to reach.

William Wallace, the T&T Football Association (T&TFA) national team Operations Manager says if the local federation is to satisfy all its national teams on a yearly basis, then a budget of $75 million will be needed. 

Wallace made this disclosure while speaking at a T&TFA media conference called to relaunch the Soca Warriors brand and give updates on a number of activities planned, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, VIP Lounge, yesterday.

Commenting on what has taken place on the field so far this year, Wallace noted the T&T national teams have been kept very busy, but is finding it very tough due to a lack of financial support, not withstanding the ongoing feud between its president Raymond Tim Kee and Minister of Sports, former World Cup defender, Brent Sancho. 

A cricket administrator as well, Wallace said so far this year seven national teams have participated in international tournaments, and if the senior team has to be going through what it has been in terms of funding, then people can well imagine what is happening at the lower levels for the other teams.

Reflecting on a recent situation he said, “Our Under-17 women team recently had a tournament and they almost did not make it to the qualifiers, not because they were not prepared but because of a lack of finances.

He added: “Let me just say T&T we have to get serious. 

“All over the world football is impacting lives and right here at home as well we can all reflect on 1989 and 2006. 

“To me these were defining moments in T&T’s history where it brought people together and it must not go unnoticed, and if we are to satisfy all our teams we are definitely talking about $75 million a year.

“We are talking about having full-time staff, because as a matter fact, right now we don’t even have a full quota of full-time staff on our senior national team. 

“The coach is the only full-time person on the senior team, the same team that performed so well at the Gold Cup, that was able to fight hard against Mexico.”

He added: “This is our flagship team, so you can imagine what happens at the lower levels. So, in this regard, I have to compliment all coaches and members of staff, technical and administrative for keeping this thing afloat, without proper remuneration.

“Because if it was not for them, this dream would have die, and thats the dream of many citizens of T&T. 

Tim Kee added: “USA’s budget for football a year is over US$100 million while Mexico’s is more than US$150, but here in T&T we struggle to raise US$5 million, and one of the reasons is that we don’t have the population to push the turnstiles to come in the stadiums, to generate funds that will even offset the cost of hosting an international match.”

In explaining why T&T has not hosted many matches in recent times, Tim Kee said: “Generally 95 per cent of the matches we host here in T&T, we end up in deficit because we just don’t have the numbers. The players and the teams we have been looking at are top quality teams because if we want to go and be with the top teams we need to be playing top quality teams.

“That why we have been performing in recent times as we have been because we have been liming the eagles, the top teams as Tim Kee described it.

“Our performances are beginning to match our expectations and through those kind of displays as well it is then we will attract patronage and support, but to get there is a real uphill task, so all we can do is plead to the citizens of this country, corporate and private to come forward and support our team.

“We have a new constitution, and we have re-adjusted our organisation but have not filled all the positions because that calls for money again, but we are looking forward and focus on the field to be a real challenge to any team in Concacaf and we will demonstrate that again.

“We did it recently at the Gold Cup against Mexico, and to the USA I say here we come when Concacaf World Cup qualifiers begin on November 17.”


New Zealand exacted revenge for last weekend's loss in Sydney with an outstanding 41-13 win over Australia, thus retaining the Bledisloe Cup.

It was a very different story to seven days ago as the All Blacks were relentless as they kicked on in the second-half, turning a 13-6 lead into the final result to cap Richie McCaw's special day with an ideal result at Eden Park in Auckland.

Tries were scored by Dane Coles, a penalty try, Ma'a Nonu (2) and Conrad Smith as the world champions go into the World Cup on a positive note.

It was an nervy start for New Zealand as they forced offloads out of rucks and struggled to contain the Wallaby backline, notably Israel Folau. And eventually Australia were rewarded with three points as Quade Cooper silenced the boos.

That kick on seven minutes didn't wake up the All Blacks as mistakes continued, with the world champions looking somewhat flustered on their home patch.

New Zealand did level matters on seventeen minutes when good work at the breakdown handed Dan Carter a shot from range, which he took superbly before the Wallabies looked to apply pressure in the 22. They certainly did that, but excellent defence kept them at bay.

To compound Australia's disappointment not to add to their tally, New Zealand broke through Carter on halfway as he scythed through like the Carter of old before setting up in-form hooker Coles who sprinted over from 35 metres out.

The sides would trade penalties around the half-hour mark to make it 13-6, with the latter offence, Conrad Smith taking out Adam Ashley-Cooper in the air, seeing the centre fortunate not to see yellow. Carter and Cooper were both striking it well.

Carter wasn't so solid with an attempted drop-goal on half-time, meaning the score was not altered going into the break.

New Zealand were this time the side on song early in the half and it took them just six minutes to put themselves in a commanding position, as wing Nehe Milner-Skudder's brilliant footwork before an even better offload led to Aaron Smith being taken high by Cooper five metres out. The penalty try was awarded and to compound Australia's woes, their fly-half was given his marching orders for ten minutes by Welsh referee Owens. The boos had turned to loud cheers for Cooper.

20-6 soon became 27-6 when Milner-Skudder was again involved, this time kicking down the line before recycled ball was swiftly moved along to Nonu who strolled over for their third try. With Carter's conversion, the All Blacks were dominating.

Their fourth try came thanks to Nonu's bust up to within ten metres and then he was on hand to fire out the assist to centre partner Smith, who was deserving of his crossing after a performance that silenced his recent critics. It was now 34-6.

New Zealand were now cruising against a Wallaby side that was a shadow of last week's team, with Nonu grabbing his brace on 65 minutes when he switched with Carter, brushing off scrum-half Nic White en route to the line. Steve Hansen would then empty his replacements bench which prompted one of the loudest cheers of the night as captain and world record appearance holder Richie McCaw came from the field. He would later get his hands on the coveted Bledisloe Cup.

For Australia this was a lesson and a psychological blow as they were outclassed in Auckland, with Folau's consolation try doing little to paper over what was a hugely disappointing day at the office that sends them into the World Cup shaken.

Man of the match: Plenty stood up for New Zealand after that Sydney defeat but one player who was brilliant in everything he did was Conrad Smith. His efforts in defence and attack saw him rewarded with a score as he edges out Ma'a Nonu.

Moment of the match: It was 13-6 when Nehe Milner-Skudder sliced through with a trademark step. What followed was an unreal offload that led to a penalty try. A close second has to be the ovation for Richie McCaw when he was replaced.

Villain of the match: It wouldn't be Eden Park and Australia in town without Quade Cooper being seen as the bad guy. His yellow for taking out Aaron Smith prompted New Zealand to up the pace and they never looked back from that moment.

The scorers:

For New Zealand:
Tries: Coles, Penalty, Nonu 2, C Smith
Con: Carter 5
Pen: Carter 2

For Australia:
Try: Folau
Con: White
Pen: Cooper 2
Yellow: Cooper (high tackle - 49 mins)

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Victor Vito, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jerome Kaino, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Dean Mumm, 20 Kane Douglas, 21 David Pocock, 22 Matt Giteau, 23 Kurtley Beale.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


Historic Parapan Am title for record-breaking T&T thrower

Akeem Stewart wrote his name into the history books in Toronto, Canada, yesterday, becoming Trinidad and Tobago's first-ever Parapan American Games champion. And the 23-year-old did it in style, producing a massive 63.03 metres throw to strike gold in the men's discus F44 event.

Stewart's winning throw is a new Parapan Am Games record. In the opening round of the competition, he landed the 1.5-kilogramme implement 60.36m to improve on the 45.77m standard established by Cuba's Gerdan Fonseca back in 2007. After fouling his next three attempts, and passing in round five, the Tobago field athlete produced the 63.03m monster throw in the sixth and final round to re-set the Games record.

Stewart missed out on the F44 world record by just 43 centimetres, American Jeremy Campbell's 63.46m mark barely surviving the “Akeem Onslaught”. Stewart, though, had the satisfaction of whipping Campbell, the three-time Paralympic gold medallist settling for silver yesterday with a 57.32m throw. Another American, David Blair secured bronze with a 56.83m effort.

Stewart was actually listed as an F43 athlete on the Parapan Am Games website, and his winning throw was announced as a new F43 world record. However, both T&T Paralympic Committee (TTPC) president Ken McKell and treasurer Sudhir Ramessar confirmed that Stewart is F44, the classification for athletes with “single below knee amputation or those that can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs”.

This evening, Stewart competes in the men's javelin F44. Also in action for T&T will be swimmer Shanntol Ince in the women's 100m Freestyle S9.

On Wednesday, Carlos Greene fell just short of the podium. The visually impaired T&T athlete threw the iron ball 10.58m to finish fourth in the men's shot put F11/12 event.

The bronze medallist, Venezuela's Anibal Bello produced a 10.68m effort for a 10-centimetre cushion on Greene. Brazilian Alessandro Da Silva grabbed gold with a 12.54m throw, with silver going to Colombia's Edwin Rodriguez Gonzalez (12.26m).