“Chase your dreams.”
That’s the advice Cleopatra Borel gave to young athletes moments after being crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the First Citizens Sports Foundation 2014 Awards ceremony alongside George Bovell, the Sportsman of the Year.
But Borel was not present at the event to collect her award. She was out chasing her own lifelong dream, firmly in competition in Cuba.
Instead, the pre-recorded video presentation of the veteran female shot putter passing down pearls of wisdom to up-and-coming sportsmen and women turned out to be a fitting victory speech when the honour was finally announced.
“You have to go after your dreams,” Borel urged. “You can never achieve your goals by sitting at home and waiting for the moment. You have to go out there and make it happen. Remember you are your own best advocate. You have to do it.”
Bovell, meanwhile, in his usual style, thanked his supporters and those who have helped him along the way. It was his second such award after first being honoured in 2004. Borel triumphed for the fourth time after wins in 2002, 2007 and 2010.
The live televised programme also saw Bovell and Borel among the top ten nominees for 2014. Also among them was Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Athlete of the Year Keshorn Walcott, another big contender for the award. Each selectee had a strong year, including Commonwealth Games boxing bronze medallist Michael Alexander, shooter and two-time FCSF Sportsman of the Year Roger Daniel--who won back-to-back awards in 2010-2011—judoka Christopher George and powerlifter Adrian Brown.
Powerlifting continues to show tremendous strides, being the only sport outside of track and field to have both its nominees in the top ten, with Yolande Mc Intyre also making the cut. This after powerlifter Giselle-Ann Jackman won the award for 2013.
Monica Sealy (golf) and Rheann Chung (table tennis) also had very impressive seasons and made the top ten.
The Lystra Lewis award for an outstanding individual or team was presented to the T&T’s women’s football team, which fell at the last hurdle with a late 1-0 defeat to Ecuador.
The National Association of Athletics Administrators (NAAA) was given the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award for the top sporting administration of 2014 in the large category, while the T&T Target Archery Federation got the nod in the medium category.
In giving the feature address, incoming UWI pro-vice chancellor Hillary Beckles—who assumes the post from May 1 this year—said the Caribbean has more sportsmen and women per capita than any other region in the world. Where improvements need to happen, Beckles appealed, is in the governance of sport.
The event also had its poignant moments, as sportsmen who passed away in the previous year were remembered. They were all men, including runner Hakeem Alexander, Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Rodney Wilkes, Neville Phipps (table tennis), Rawle Barrow (sailing), Kevon Carter (football), Benedict Cayenne (track and field) and cricketer Tevin Robertson.
Cycling was hardest hit, losing no fewer than eight personalities: Clinton Grant, Hilton “Barracuda” Mitchell, Kent Luces, Roger Smart, Ronald Dickie Sr, Russell Parris, David Beard and Len Harvey.


On Thursday 5th March, 2015, the 28th Annual Nestlé Trinidad And Tobago Limited
MILO West Games 2015, was officially launched.

For the past 28 years, Nestlé MILO has proudly sponsored the MILO West Games – Zonal Games which provide a forum to unearth the rich athletic (track & field) talent that is resident in the North West. And this year, the Good Food, Good Life company will contribute $75,000 in cash toward the initiative.

The MILO West Games has long been considered a premier activity; the showpiece of the North Western District; and has produced a slew of athletes responsible for winning medals at national, regional and international athletic events.

At the launch, Mr. Kelvin Nancoo, Chairman of the Port of Spain and Environs Sports Council, brought remarks from the MILO West Games Committee, and extended immense gratitude to Nestlé MILO for its commitment to the Games for the past 28 years.  

Mr. Ephraim Serrette, President of the National Association of Athletic Administration, shared Nancoo’s sentiments, adding that the field of athletics (track and field) has seen the greatest success and most success at the Olympic Games for Trinidad and Tobago, than any other field. “The NAAA is pleased to be part of this, sanctioning such an event, because this is where our future Olympians and world champions will come from. We need to support this.”

Mr. Olson Oliver, School Supervisor III, brought remarks on behalf of the  Ministry of Education highlighting that participation in the Games contributes to numerous health, wellness and personal benefits, like development of moral values and social and emotional skills, unattainable via other means.

“It brings Nestlé a great sense of gratification, knowing that others view health, wellness, nutrition and sport in the same high regard as we do.” This from Mrs. Rae-Ann Clement- Harper, Senior Consumer Marketing Manager, Powdered Beverages at Nestlé.

Clement-Harper went on to acknowledge the efforts of the Ministry of Education, its Principals and Teachers, and all parents, students, athletes, volunteers and organisers who, year after year, give of themselves to ensure the success of the MILO Games.

Ms. Aleena Brooks, Feature Speaker and former MILO West Games participant shared her experience as a participant some 10 years ago, describing it as the foundation of her career as an athlete. She attributed her success on the track to the MILO Games as she mentioned a handful of her numerous accomplishments and stated “All of that (success) goes right back to the beginning where I started off at the MILO games.”

Aleena likened the Games to the Olympics - “I felt proud, because when you're that young, the MILO games felt like the Olympic.” This comment was met with approving applause.

Ms. Brooks, 23, went on to encourage the athletes present to continue the path of excellence set out by former MILO Games participants like Jehue Gordon and Michelle Lee Ahye. Her advice to the athletes was three-fold: “Believe in God; Believe in yourself; and have self discipline, which means doing what you need to do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.”

The Games
The MILO West Games will be held on Tuesday March 10th  at the Hasely Crawford Stadium under the Chairmanship of Mr. Kelvin Nancoo, Chairman of the Port of Spain and Environs Sports Council.
Preliminary track heats were held on Thursday 26th February at the Diego
Martin Central Secondary School, and at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Producing Champions
Over its history the Games has produced thirteen (13) national athletes, with the
most recent being the top Under 20 400 metres hurdle athlete in the world, Jehue  Gordon and National Womens and world number three (3) rated sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye.

Other National Athletes who debuted at the Milo Games include:
● Simon Pierre
● Fana Ashby
● Cleavon Dillon
● Renee Clarke
● Honore Mcdonald
● Kervin Morgan
● Michelle Lee Ahye
● Jonathan Holder
* Jehue Gordon
*Alena Brooks

For additional information on the MILO West Games, please contact:

Kim C.S. Kirton

As rugby continues to grow throughout the Caribbean, NACRA has introduced the game to St Kitts and Nevis using its values as the hook


The joys of rugby are well known up on the South African highveld, down in the Welsh valleys and in the Canterbury plains but now the game has arrived at a new and, arguably, even more exotic destination.


A spot of cricket on the beach or sprinting on the athletics track may be the sporting activities that first spring to mind when the sun-soaked Caribbean twin-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis is mentioned. However, while cricketers such as Keith Arthurton or athletes like Desai Williams have previously inspired the country’s youngsters, potentially a new breed of rugby player will be the ones making headlines in years to come.


Over the past year, kids in St Kitts and Nevis have been introduced to the game thanks to World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby initiative, enthusiastically implemented by the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA).


The Get Into Rugby scheme has already been a hit in other Caribbean countries, such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, where there was already a rugby presence. In 2014, NACRA set the task of introducing the game to areas where rugby was not played, by working with local Olympic committees.


Indeed, the programme has been hugely successful throughout the continent with 16 NACRA unions taking part in more than 50 locations around North America and the Caribbean. So far that has introduced 13,900 youngsters to the game for the first time, including 6,200 girls, through more than 600 training sessions and Get Into Rugby festivals.


St Kitts and Nevis embrace Get Into Rugby The St Kitts and Nevis National Olympic Committee sent a representative to NACRA’s ‘New Country’ initiative in 2013 where rugby was explained and introduced to people who had never experienced it before. The NOC immediately embraced the introduction of Get Into Rugby so, in 2014, it invited NACRA to make a first visit to train teachers and volunteers.


Trinidad and Tobago woman Kwanieze John, who works as a Get Into Rugby instructor for NACRA, and Tom Jones, World Rugby Regional General Manager, were the lucky ones to make the trip to the shores of St Kitts and Nevis. John has since made a second visit, this time with Kurt Weaver of USA Rugby.


John explains the importance of directing their rugby education programme towards primary and secondary age students.


“We need to build a culture and, as young kids are more impressionable, it needs to be the right culture. This is particularly true as there is no local rugby for them in St Kitts and Nevis. It's about the opportunity to make rugby their own,” she said.


So, what is this rugby culture like?


A rugby culture is being instilled

“It is great to address education, health and physical fitness through sport to become not just a better rugby player but to become a better person,” she said.


“Teamwork is heavily emphasised. The integrity of the game, that they have to be honest, they have to be accountable to their team-mates, their coaches, their school, keep maintaining good grades.”


These efforts are supported in St Kitts and Nevis and in other Caribbean countries by the fact that rugby has become part of the physical education curricula. It was during her own school years in Trinidad that John herself first encountered and fell in love with rugby.


“The coach came into our school and she had a very powerful personality, and I wanted to be as strong as her. That was what it was really about for me because I had no idea what rugby really was when I got started, not a clue!”


It was this character building aspect of the game that particularly appealed to the then 15-year-old.


Rugby helped me to make friends

For me, rugby was an opportunity to travel and to make friends with other girls my age who were just as passionate to be as involved with sport as I was. Rugby did a lot for my character as well, you were seen as a strong girl in school.”


Ten years later, John’s desire to promote rugby across the Caribbean and experience in doing so is impressive considering she is still only 25.


In telling of how rugby impacted upon her life as a teenager while growing up in the tough Port of Spain neighbourhood of St Barbs, John expounds on how rugby can be used to help fight socio-economic disadvantage.


“Rugby was an escape for me. I grew up kind of rough, in a sense, in a place where your peers heavily influenced you. Rugby was a lifesaver for me because I grew up in a harsh community. That was just my environment but it wasn’t who I really was. Who I am now has a lot to do with the school I attended, my mentors and the people who looked out for me.


“In my community I saw a lot of girls have children as teenagers and that became their whole life. What rugby did for me was see beyond that, that there were different paths and there are different experiences you can find through sport.”


Desire to inspire others

John’s path that began with rugby has included being capped for her country at senior level playing both sevens and 15s, studying at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, working with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and last year being their chef de mission for their delegation to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.


These achievements she believes stem from her involvement in rugby and feed into her desire to inspire others.


“I know what sport did for me as a young woman and I have always wanted to share that opportunity with others. I want to inspire others to take up sport as a career or working in sport development as a career. The changes sport can make to the lives of young people are priceless.”


She once again returns to the social aspect of rugby when expressing the benefits of sport for young girls in particular.


The value of solidarity is so important

“We emphasise the values of rugby such as solidarity and how, as women, they should not tear each other down but they need to support each other.


“We tell them that they are part of a wider community and that does a lot for girls and the boys. Because sometimes boys feel very alone despite their machismo, so that camaraderie and friendship are definitely parts of the rugby programme.”


John provides some stirring words to prompt any teenager regardless of where he or she may be in the world to pick up an oval ball.


“Rugby really saved me because I didn’t always have somebody to talk to but I would go on the field and all my worries would just drop away. I became a different person when I was on that green grass. When I am out on the field I am really at peace.”

by Kate Rowan Source: NACRA Info Page.

Trinidad and Tobago's national men and women rugby 7s teams are in contention to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and will travel to the USA to participate in the North America and Caribbean region Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification tournament .

The North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) has announced  that the Triangle Sports Commission has been selected to serve as the local host of the 2015 NACRA  Sevens rugby tournament on June 13-14, which will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

This event will serve as the regional qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


The Triangle Sports Commission, based in Cary, is one of only 10 United States Olympic Committee Community Olympic Partner organizations, and, as such, has a significant focus on supporting major Olympic and amateur sports events and activities.


“To be able to host this international qualifying tournament for next year’s Rio Olympic Games is quite a coup for the region,” said Hill Carrow, CEO of the Triangle Sports Commission. “It gives us the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of Olympic participation and competition with one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In addition, this tournament will enable us to outfit WakeMed Soccer Park permanently to host major rugby events, which expands the capabilities of the park and can lead to additional long-term positive economic benefits for the area. For those of us involved with the initial plan and funding for WakeMed, as well as the recent expansion of the venue, that aspect is particularly exciting.”


Qualification Process

The initial round of qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games – the first Olympiad to include Rugby Sevens on the Games Program – will result from the 2014-15 World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series (men’s) and 2014-15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. The top four teams from each Series will qualify for the Olympics (in addition to Brazil, which automatically qualifies as the host country).


The United States Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens National Teams remain in contention to qualify for Rio 2016 in their respective Series, with the men sitting in ninth place after three of nine tournaments and the women in seventh with five tournaments remaining.


National teams that do not qualify through the Series will participate in regional qualifiers around the world, to include the NACRA Sevens in June. The top finisher from both the men’s and women’s bracket will join the Series qualifiers on their way to the Olympics.


“In light of the continued growth and popularity of rugby throughout the NACRA region and with this year’s Series also being the qualification tournament for Rio 2016, it is important that such an event be held at a high quality venue with strong local partners in order to showcase rugby sevens,” NACRA Chief Operations Officer Niall Brooks said. “WakeMed, together with the Triangle Sports Commission leading the Local Organizing Committee, fulfills this criteria and I am sure all teams, players, officials, and spectators are looking forward to a successful and thoroughly enjoyable sevens tournament.”


WakeMed Soccer Park, venue for the Qualifier, is home to the North American Soccer League’s Carolina Railhawks. The 150-acre complex in Cary, N.C., contains a 10,000-seat natural grass stadium with two additional championship fields, and multiple practice fields on site.

Tonight, Trinidad and Tobago will find out who are the First Citizens Sports Foundation (FCSF) Sports Awards 2014 picks for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.


The gala event will kick off from 7.15 tonight at Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain.


It seems that again, this year, track and field is set to dominate—or more accurately, the field—with javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott and shot putter Cleopatra Borel leading the charge among the men and women respectively.


It’s not a done deal yet, but the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) awards often provides a good indicator as to what’s in store on a national stage, even though there are a number of sports outside the TTOC jurisdiction that have put their hands up with performances over the preceding 12 months.


There have been some exciting performances in that period, but it will be tough to get past Walcott, who bettered his national javelin record by hurling the spear 85.77 metres in August at his final IAAF Diamond League meet in Zurich, Switzerland for silver.


Walcott seemed to have gotten past his injury concerns in the year with some consistent performances. The Toco native won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and bagged bronze at the IAAF Continental Cup.


Borel is T&T’s most accomplished veteran in the field, and has continued to consistently throw beyond 18 metres in big competitions. She secured silver at the Commonwealth Games, and gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Veracruz, Mexico in November when the iron ball landed on the cusp of 19 metres.


But there are a number of other standout performances that would surely have tested the judges.


Michael Alexander boxed his way to bronze at the Commonwealth Games despite facing a number of preparation hurdles. He also claimed CAC bronze.


Denesh Ramdin was one of West Indies’ top batsmen even in the face of being handed the Test captaincy, and helped the regional side to the semi-finals of the World T20 competition. Ramdin also played a crucial role in helping T&T lift the Nagico Super50 title.


Among the women, footballer Arin King and golfer Monifa Sealy both earned their nomination with strong seasons. King was strong in defence to bring T&T to the cusp of their first World Cup qualification, and Sealy was again a stroke above the rest to help T&T hold on to the George Teale Memorial Trophy.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic cycling hopefuls have been provided with a slight competitive advantage ahead of the 2016 Summer Games since the spanking new 250 metre Siberian spruce track laid at National Cycling Velodrome, Couva, last week, is an almost replica of the sleek surface which will play host to cycling events at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This was revealed by German Ralph Schuermann, architect and engineer of Schuermann Architects, and the man in charge of ensuring the successful laying of the surface at the Couva facility. Schuermann’s organisation has also been selected to construct the competitive track in Brazil for all indoor cycling events next year.

Speaking to the professional builder at the track’s unveiling in Balmain, Couva, yesterday, he indicated that TT nationals should have an extra edge.

“This is our 144th track we have built around the world,” said Schuermann. “In a few weeks time we are going to start to build the Olympic track and we are going to install this in Rio de Janeiro in autumn. It will be pretty similar to this track if you train here, you will definitely have an advantage at the Olympics.”

At the track’s unveiling yesterday, generations of local cyclists were all smiles as over 20 years of promises were finally materialised. Veteran national representatives such as Gene “Geronimo” Samuel, Roger Frontin and Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) president Robert Farrier, along with Olympic rider Njisane Phillip and several other promising national cyclists and enthusiasts were also present at the venue to test the smooth surface for the first time.

Schuermann also indicated that the seats are yet to be installed, air conditions still to be turned on and minor outdoor work to be done, to ensure total completion of now International Cycling Union (UCI) — sanctioned arena.

Schuermann added, “We have already received approval of the UCI for this building and we have the certification for the track. There’s still some minor work to do but the track is completed and as you can see, the cyclists are overjoyed.”

During the visit, national representatives such as Phillip, Keron Bramble, Akil Campbell, Quincy Alexander, Jude Codrington, Justin Roberts and females Kollyn St George, Keiana Lester and Denese Francis all took the opportunity to familiarise themselves on the shiny new track.

Speaking to Minister of Sport Brent Sancho at the venue, he gave credit to the works of the main contractor Shanghai Construction Group (SCG), the Government and all other associates for a job well done.

“History has been made in Trinidad and Tobago in the sport of cycling and history will continue to be made with the swimming and tennis facilities on the way as well — both have been coming along nicely.

“We have now put ourselves on the sporting world map and will now be known to have the best cycling arena in the Western Hemisphere. This is also great for sport tourism and we anticipate this location being a number one destination for foreign cyclists,” said Sancho.

TTCF boss, Farrier, also revealed that the cycling fraternity is presently working on a plan to ensure that this facility is fully utilised. These plans, he revealed, will be rolled out in due course since discussions are still underway with the newly appointed Sport Minister.

Although unconfirmed, the local cycling family is expected to host its first professional race in mid-May when TT’s elite and junior riders gear up for this year’s edition of the National Cycling Championships. However, the official opening is scheduled to take place when TT host the inaugural UCI-sanctioned “Grand Prix of Balmain”.

Originally, the scheduled date was listed as June 12-14 but due to minor delays, this date has been pushed back to ensure smooth operations on opening night. The official opening date is yet to be released.