A host will be selected for the 2017 ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committee) World Beach Games at the organisation's General Assembly in Washington D.C. in October, it was revealed here today, with the inaugural event set to feature 15 sports.

Discussions on the event at last month's ANOC Executive Council meeting in Lausanne were based predominantly around conceptual discussions, with no decision of sports and location thought imminent and the Games believed likely to be held only at some stage between 2017 and 2019.

But following that meeting, a Working Group chaired by Hong Kong's Timothy Fok was set up to speed up preparations and a meeting took place on June 29.

Since then, letters have been sent out to all National Olympic Committees inviting applications to host the event ahead of a deadline of July 31, with an Evaluation Process to then take place ahead of the meeting in the United States capital scheduled for October 29 and 30.

This was revealed by ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg today during an ANOC update here as part of the Pan American Sports Organization General Assembly.

Of the 15 sports set to appear in the first edition, 13 will be chosen by ANOC with the remaining two to be selected by the host city.

All will be non-Olympic sports and disciplines, it was announced, although the Swede revealed to insidethegames afterwards how this can include beach varieties of sports on the programme, such as beach handball and basketball 3x3.

insidethegames understands that letters were sent by ANOC to selected sports today, with surfing among those to have received one.

The event will be known as the ANOC World Beach Games, Lindberg added.

The World Beach Games title had already been trademarked by SportAccord when awarding its ill-fated event to Sochi in April.

This will no longer take place following confirmation last month that Russia had pulled out of a deal with SportAccord to host next year's SportAccord Convention and other events following the conflict between the organisation and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which culminated in the resignation of the former body's President, Marius Vizer.

Lindberg, who is also a member of the IOC Executive Board and was speaking today in the absence of ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, highlighted the IOC's support for the ANOC version, which is seeking to become the third biggest event in sport.

Meanwhile, the Swede also announced that this year's second ANOC Gala Awards Ceremony, to be held during the General Assembly in Washington, will feature new awards recognising the best male and best female athletes from the various Continental Games.

Athletes' Commissions from each continental federation will propose a shortlist which will then be whittled down by an ANOC jury.

As well as the Pan American Games starting here on Friday (July 10) and the Pacific Games currently taking place in Port Moresby, this is also expected to include last year's Asian Games in Incheon, last month's European Games in Baku and the All Africa Games, due to take place in Brazzaville in September.


Pan Am athletes to be rewarded for success in Canada

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), in an effort to give its athletes extra motivation to perform at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, has announced medal bonuses which will form part of the TTOC's 10 or more Olympic gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.

TTOC president Brian Lewis set a national objective to achieve eight more Olympic gold medals by the 2024 Summer Games and for the first time in its history the TTOC will have a medal bonus which will see athletes getting US$3,000 for winning a gold medal, US$2,000 for a silver and US$1,000 for bronze in individual competition at the Toronto Games which start on Friday.

In the relay events, teams will get US$9,000 for gold, US$6,000 for silver and US$3,000 for bronze.

In respect of team sports, US$1,500 will be rewarded per athlete for a gold, US$1,000 for silver and US$750 for bronze.

The TTOC is determined to take the necessary steps and decisions in its effort to create the environment that will assist

the athletes in striving to achieve medal winning objectives.

TTOC vice-president Dr Ian Hypolite feels that the introduction of the medal bonuses could be a very worthwhile initiative.

He said that while athletes are already motivated to do well, the incentives will let them know their efforts are appreciated and will be like the icing on the cake.

“Anything that serves to incentivise our athletes is obviously welcome,” Hypolite told the Express. “It is a bold initiative and principle in the cause in an attempt to incorporate corporate Trinidad in the process.”

“There are a lot of expectations surrounding our athletes but I think the public needs to understand that athletic success is not a give and that support is always vital. The incentives are one thing but what the TTOC is really calling upon is for corporate Trinidad and Tobago to support our athletes,” he explained.

“Motivation is a complex thing. Many athletes are already intrinsically motivated however some extrinsic motivation in the form of a reward can always be like the icing on the cake so to speak,” Hypolite added.

“I don't think there are any athletes who are going to say they are going to run for the money. They are already motivated to do well but I think the rewards will be an indication of some level of appreciation for the athletes' commitment towards Trinidad and Tobago and I think that is also a major consideration,” he said.

According to a TTOC press release, “the introduction of medal bonuses is an essential component of the 10 or more Olympic Gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.

“In pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives the TTOC acknowledges the support of its corporate partners: bpTT, Guardian Group, Scotiabank, Adidas, Lisa Communications and NLCB. It is an exciting time for the TTOC. Rio 2016 is just around the corner. Pan Am Toronto will get underway this week. Lots of challenges but it's exciting,” the release stated.


T&T Senior Women's Football Team arrives at Pearson International Airport ahead of the Pan-American Games. Photo: Allan V. Crane/TTOC...Sancho’s intervention saves day for footballers

Minister of Sport Brent Sancho says the threat by some T&T senior women’s team players not to board a flight bound for Canada yesterday would have been realised had it not been for his intervention.

In a telephone interview, Sancho said he convinced the players to take the flight after giving them the assurance that he would look into issues, some of which were made public by one of the players, Kennya Cordner, who took to social media over the weekend in a critical post directed to the T&T Football Association (TTFA).

On Saturday, Cordner posted the following on Facebook: “So on Monday 6th of July I would not be going to Canada without any stipend this is ridiculous now I would let ppl know wat alyuh about TTFA because this is not fair to us, why must the men be in comfort while we suffer not any more I'm so fed up of you all treating us like this no more.”

Then, on Sunday, a day before the team was scheduled to depart for Canada, Cordner posted on the same forum: “As I lay in my bed and think back! You know it was never about the money when coming to play for our country, we always used to go and play and fight for the, but is the Constance (sic) disrespect from the TTFA I cannot take. Few months ago we brought this country together, we change the face of women's football but yet still we are treated like we are no-body why must that be?

It's unfair to us look we have pan am games not even a practice game why because we not worth it? Am asking you TTFA. Going back to wen Coach Randy put up the Twitter post and you all said things would be better for the women's but yet still the lies keep coming smh. Ladies it's about time we stop take the disrespect because we are human not robots. I would always b happy to represent my country, but wen we are being disrespected I would let ppl know.

With these concerns, some players threatened to boycott the event. Sancho said he received a call the night before from one of the players, which brought some of the issues to his attention. He said he wants the TTFA to be “transparent and open.” “They have to let us know what happened.”

Sancho said he could not understand what the issues were in terms of match fees and preparation for the Pan Am Games since the TTFA recently received “Gold Cup money” from Concacaf. “The federation got money from Concacaf for preparation for the Gold Cup and airfare but we (Government) are paying for airfare,” Sancho said.

However, in a subsequent interview, TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips said the Minister may have been mistaken when it came to the figures. “We did not receive $100,000 from Concacaf (for the Gold Cup). We received around $33,000, which did go towards the two Pan Am teams.” He said the association “received an advance” from Concacaf in the absence of Ministry subventions which would have gone toward the Pan American Games.

In terms of the women team’s preparation for the Games, Phillips noted that the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL)  featured all national women players and allowed them to prepare through a number of friendly matches, including one against a WPL XI.

The women’s team is scheduled to kick off the account at the Pan American Games on Saturday with a clash against Argentina and will play Colombia and Mexico on July 14 and 18, respectively, at the preliminary stage. The men will face Uruguay (July 13), Paraguay (July 17) and Mexico (July 21).


‘Clash of Queens’ fund-raiser delivers

The clash between the ?Calypso Girls? and the ?Women Warriors? exceeded expectations yesterday at the Jean Pierre Complex. The charity event, dubbed "Clash of the Queens", was an attempt to raise funds for the Trinidad and Tobago netball team, who will be embarking upon their World Cup adventure next month in Sydney, Australia, from the 7-16.

The national senior netballers have been busy in the build-up for the World Cup, which they qualified for after they won the 2014 AFNA Championships in Canada. In Australia, they will face the hosts, who are ten-time world champions, as well as New Zealand, who have won the World Championships on four occasions. They are the top-two ranked teams in the world at the moment. T&T's other opponent in that group will be Barbados. Where the match was concerned, the footballers, whose attack was led by none other than their inspirational captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, made a gamely attempt at posing a challenge to their more experienced opponents. It wasn't enough to stop the Calypso Girls from storming to a 58-9 blowout at the final buzzer. There was a good crowd in the Complex as there was a sizeable turnout to support the women's cause.

According to Ian Haywood, co-ordinator with A-Class Group of Companies, the concept was to bring awareness to the plight of the athletes of the two teams, and also for corporate Trinidad and Tobago to offer sponsorship separate from the auspices of the Ministry of Sport.

The funds allocated from the event yesterday was split 50/50 between the two teams. The Calypso Girls will be using their share to facilitate their World Cup endeavours, while the Women Warriors will utilise their funds to help prepare adequately with less need for subventions.

?The fundraiser was both the idea of Maylee Attin-Johnson and vice-captain Ayanna Russell in order to engage women national players across the board,? he said. ?We will have a ?round two' with the football after.?

The A-Class group is also planning to arrange a return leg in the same event after the Netball World Cup, where the Netballers will take on the Warriors in a football match at a venue yet to be determined. ?The next game, we expect to have more people and more hype, and it will also be split equally between the two teams,? Haywood said.

The event has the potential to be the springboard for something better where local women's sports are concerned, particularly netball. ?There are brighter days ahead,? said national netball skipper Joelisa Cooper. ?This event can show people that despite not being where we were in 1979, we can return to those glory days with proper development,? said Cooper.


Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) says there may have never been a better time and opportunity for the public to do its part in supporting the TTOC’s quest for ten or more Olympic gold medals by 2024, than by supporting the partnership between the local Olympic body and the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Lewis made this case yesterday when the TTOC and the NLCB announced an indefinite arrangement, which sees Olympic hopeful athletes benefit from part monetary proceeds earned from a new “instant win” scratch card launched by the NLCB titled: “Going for Gold”.

NLCB’s part of the bargain is specifically to aid the TTOC in achieving its goal of securing ten or more gold medals by 2024 by crediting an account created for the athletes with some of the money earned from the scratch cards.

The new game will become available to the public on Monday. They cost $10 each. The $3.2 million in prizes range from $10 to $100,000 individually. According to the NLCB, the odds of winning is one in four.

Thus far, the NLCB has printed 500,000 scratch cards and will continue to print new cards depending on the rate of sales. Represented by board member Brian Sawh and lottery ticket supervisor, Candy West, at yesterday’s function, the NLCB announced that the athletes’ fund will receive $200,000-$250,000 for every 500,000 cards sold.

Sawh said he believes the first batch of half-a-million cards can be sold within a month but that the continuation of the new scratch card will depend on its demand. Thus for the benefit of the athletes and the NLCB, the company will take an aggressive marketing approach, through print, radio and digital advertising to raise the public awareness.

Meanwhile, Lewis, who sought to put the arrangement “into context” said, “One can’t do something over and over and expect a different result.”

He noted that the partnership is just one of the ways in which the TTOC has materialised on the re-calibrated strategic plan, which started in May, 2013, to increase T&T’s gold medal count at the Olympic Games.

“In engaging NLCB, we found some like-minded individuals… So in a very real sense, for the TTOC, today is a huge step forward,” Lewis added, before thanking its new partner.

He offered assurance that the initiative will be one guided by “transparency and accountability” and “will meet the TTOC’s audited financial process,”      especially given the nature of the venture (funding for athletes) and the stigma that was once attached to the NLCB.

He said support for athletes’ development by means of funding “has not been what we expected.”

“This will test the public… Actions speak louder than words.”


TTOC president, Brian Lewis, centre, NLCB board member Brian Sawh, left, and Instant Money Game supervisor Candi West view the 'Going for Gold' Scratch cards which will be available for purchase at NLCB outlets on Monday. Author: JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH « ThumbsIn search of an increase in financial assistance towards the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s Athlete and Welfare Preparation Fund, president of the local Olympic fraternity, Brian Lewis, unveiled a landmark joint venture with the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) to aid the growth of this initiative.

At Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Lewis, NLCB chairman of marketing Brian Sawh and Instant Money Game supervisor, Candi West, disclosed their historic project which aims at generating approximately $1million per year towards the Athlete Fund and boosting the TTOC’s aim of achieving ten gold medals or more by 2024.

Together, the trio launched ‘Going for Gold’, a brand new NLCB sanctioned scratch game which will raise funds for Trinidad and Tobago’s potential Olympians. On Monday, 500,000 scratch tickets carrying the logo #10Golds24 will be on sale to the public for $10 at approximately 800 NLCB registered outlets nationwide. With a grand prize of $100,000, buyers of these tickets will be directly investing into the Athlete Preparation Fund. There are multiple other prizes customers can win in this scratch game and organisers have stated that chances are estimated at one-in-four. The first tranche of tickets is expected to run over a three-month period and will be renewed upon completion. This is a bold step in realising Lewis’ dream, having launched the #10Golds24 in December last year and then taking part in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon in January 2015.

On this historic drive, Lewis explained, “The importance of continuing and trying different initiatives is very important given the determination to create the environment that will allow our athletes to achieve their goals and objectives. We want to cultivate a system of excellence which clarifies the development pathway.”

The NLCB and TTOC anticipate that the ‘Going for Gold’ game, which was designed by GTECH, will be instrumental in raising public awareness and stimulating further national support of the athletes’ cause.

Camille Forde, director of the NLCB, was enthusiastic about the game’s potential to augment the impact of #10Golds24. “It is our hope that the interactive element of “Going for Gold” will stimulate renewed interest and care for Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes,” she said. “The NLCB is passionate about supporting the achievement of our talented young people, and “Going for Gold” can play a significant role in helping our game-buyers feel invested in our Olympic dream.”

“With this idea, we are getting the public more directly involved in paving the future of our Olympians,” added Lewis. “We have had the Fund open since last year and have not attained what we have projected for thus far. This is why we must adopt and implement new ideas with a positive mind-set.”