BISHOP ANSTEY proved themselves queens of the Digicel Girls Schools Rugby.

They won the title during the 2014 season, and at a recent prize distribution ceremony they claimed the trophy for their success.

Also among the trophies were Fatima College who won the Under-14 title in the Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Schools Rugby Football Union.

The Fatima boys won both the league and knockout titles

International School took the trophy in winning the Under-17 series.

At the prize distribution ceremony, Digicel Branding and events manager Natalie Black O’Connor said, “it really is a pleasure being able to support the skill and talent of these youngsters.

“The talent has truly grown from year to year and I am really proud of the level of skill displayed.”


Former England and Lions great Jeremy Guscott is now a rugby union pundit for the BBC and a consultant in the field of data and telematics. Ahead of next month’s RBS Six Nations tournament, we sat down with the man Sir Clive Woodward once described as “the Prince of Centres” to discuss the critical role data now plays in the modern game and what the sport and business worlds can learn from one another when it comes to adopting data-led technology.

How much was data and technology a part of rugby union during your playing career? Did you get a sense of a transition while you were playing?

The concept of data has been around for a long time in rugby union. Over the years the data available has become more abundant, specific and refined. There’s been a gradual move towards greater detail and more ability to capture, report and feedback.

Back in 1989 when I made my debut for England, the fitness team consisted of one person and analysis was fairly basic. We were tested on speed, speed endurance, power and strength. Team and individual player analysis was prepared, again by just one person, and came in the form of a single video tape which would be paused and played to highlight key points.

Typically in today’s team management set up at an elite club you will have an entire department dedicated to sports science and performance and to both team and individual analysis.

How much did the game going professional impact on the adoption of data-led analysis?

Rugby has always been big on fitness, but the impact of professionalism in this area was dramatic because it meant you could train full time. When the game went professional, you began to see a big physical difference emerge in the body shapes of professional rugby players compared with those of the amateurs.

Professionalism typically means more money, which in turn means more resource to measure and prepare both rugby teams and individual players. All sports are engaged in a search for those marginal gains that will improve a player’s and the team’s performance. This search is now led by data.

How important do you feel data and technology is to the modern game?

Technology and data are a massive part of rugby union today. So much so that it’s now literally in the fabric of the sport, with GPS devices sewn into a small pouch between the shoulder blades of players’ shirts at the elite level. These devices measure in minute detail the distances and speeds players are covering during training and playing.

In real-time, they can reveal what a player’s average speed is, when a player’s intensity starts to drop and in some cases even measure their heart rate, all of which enable the coaching staff to monitor who is performing above or below their usual level. These insights are particularly useful in training when a player comes back from injury. Based on the data you can customise specific training for any player because you have their full fitness diagnostics to compare with.

I believe data and technology go stride for stride together. The better the technology, generally, the better the data, and the better the data, the better the chances of maintaining and improving performance.

Where do you sit in terms of the balance between numbers and nous in sport?

When I first started out playing as a senior I wasn’t too interested in statistics. I just wanted to play and I relied heavily on my instincts. I didn’t want to know too much about what the opposition did or didn’t do. For me I had a player to beat or a player to tackle. In my mind there was no tech or data required to achieve that goal.

I remember when Clive Woodward first took over as England head coach he put up some charts and showed us how much fitter New Zealand were than us. The point he was making was ‘how did we expect to beat the best team in the world if we weren’t as fit as them?’. From the very first day with Woodward our fitness conditioning changed

Are there parallels to be drawn in terms of the business world?

There are obvious parallels to be drawn between adopting a data-led approach in sport and taking a similar approach in business. In my day job as a consultant in fleet risk management we utilise telemetry technology (the remote capture and analysis of data) to improve driver behaviour and dynamic routing and scheduling optimisation.

In very basic terms the metrics collected through telemetry are fed back to drivers, helping to improve driving behaviour which in turn enables businesses to make savings in fuel and vehicle maintenance costs because the vehicle is being driven safely and more efficiently. Because driving is improved there will be fewer on the road incidents, resulting in lower insurance claims costs which again save money.

The software used in routing and scheduling makes sure drivers are taking the best routes, therefore optimising their time on the roads. It also provides the ability to set a maximum number of jobs per schedule and a maximum shift length.

Is there a risk, both in business and in sport, of becoming too reliant on data and technology at the expense of human instinct and emotion?

In my role as a BBC rugby pundit I find the statistics we have at our fingertips provide us with incredibly useful insights that quite often defy apparent logic. When critiquing a player or a team it’s particularly powerful because we have facts that enable us be accurate and persuasive in our analysis.

On the other hand, some analytics are not yet as sophisticated or reliable as we would like. For example, one stat I look at is ‘defenders beaten’. It tells me a number, but it doesn’t tell me if it was a side-step or off which foot the tackle was missed. I have to combine that data with watching to get the full picture. It’s the same with a tackle stat. It’s just a number, so it can’t tell me how important the tackle was. I have to look at a re-run of the match to see how important the tackle was.

For me, the best analytics help back up my instinct that I have about a player having watched them live. Statistics can often surprise you, sometimes mislead you but always provide a richer understanding of the game.


APPROXIMATELY $14,000 in cash, as well as two digital cameras, were reportedly stolen from the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic House, Abercromby Street, Port-of- Spain over the weekend.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis, on the social media network Twitter yesterday morning, posted, “to (the) criminals who broke into Olympic House this weekend, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. We will not be distracted.”

Lewis declined comment on the matter yesterday, as he referred all questions to Dave Williams, legal adviser to the TTOC and a trustee in its executive committee.

During a telephone interview, Williams confirmed that the incident took place.

“The president received a call (on Sunday) at about (9 am),” said Williams. “One of the staff members, in preparing for a workshop for table-tennis, came into the building (and) saw evidence that someone would have been inside.”

According to the lawyer, “there would have been about $14,000 in cash, that we would have secured in a draw, that was stolen, together with two cameras. Documents were actually tampered with. There were evidence that certain important documents would have been perused. Time would have been spent going through those documents.”

However, Williams revealed, “interestingly, a number of sneakers that we would have received from Adidas were not stolen. Laptops and computers, those things were intact.”

Williams disclosed that officers from the Central Police Station, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain visited the Olympic House on Sunday where fingerprints were taken. The TTOC lawyer pointed out that staff members were allowed on the compound yesterday. “Everyone is here, everyone is working as normal,” he said. But Williams revealed, “our telephone lines were actually tampered with, as well as the computer lines. So we are unable to have access to our computer system. We are somewhat constrained as a result of the burglary.”

WPC Cooper of the Central Police Station is currently conducting the investigation.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) will  work with the business community to provide internship, mentorship and work opportunities for elite athletes as part of its 10 or more Olympic gold medals by 2024 #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation programme.

TTOC President Brian Lewis said Preparing Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic  athletes for life after they retire from elite level sport is one of the priorities of #10golds24.

Many of our Olympians would have obtained scholarships and  degrees from Universities in the USA and we need to stop the brain drain where due to a lack of opportunity they have to seek employment in the USA and other foreign countries.

As part of its #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation programme the national Olympic committee  will be proactive in engaging the local business community and private sector in discussions to urge them to adopt athletes who are part of the #10golds24 programme.

Editors Note:

The vision of #10golds 24(  10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024)  is to enable Trinidad and Tobago  athletes to realize their Olympic  dreams.

The aim of #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation programme and Fund is to provide financial and holistic assistance to  our nation’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes to enable them to train, recover and compete.

Bovell to hone his skills ahead of Rio 2016

Top Trinidad and Tobago swimmer George Bovell says 2015 will be about fine-tuning his preparations and experimenting a bit to get things right for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Bovell described 2014 as a tough year in which he added too much workload and paid the price.

But it still was a fruitful one for the 2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist who won nine medals at the FINA World Cup Swimming Series and completed a three-peat of gold medals in the Men’s 50 metres freestyle at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Mexico.

“I thought that if I did everything I was doing in 2013, which was my best year; if I just improved upon it with a little bit more work, a little bit harder work, that I would be faster. But there is only so much work that your body can take. It needs to recover and I think last summer I got a little carried away, did too much work. We worked too hard and I got over-trained coming into the Commonwealth Games. But that training is in the bank, it will pay off later on and I was able to recuperate some of my speed for the FINA World Cup,” Bovell said, adding that he was just returning to the pool after a five-week break to resume his training.

Looking ahead to 2015, the all-important pre Olympic year, Bovell said his programme will be progressive.

“Things will build up this year towards the Pan Am Games in Canada and the World Championships in Russia then I’ll carry on and continue to race in the FINA World Cup,” Bovell explained.

“All in all, this year is more of a dry run for the Olympics season, another chance to work out what you need to do, how you need to do it, how you think your subjective preparation can be improved and really just a time to try things so you know next year what exactly works for you.”

At 31, Bovell is no longer a spring chicken in the sport, but he believes strongly he has been able to use his experience well and maintain his desire for top-level performances.

“Physically I feel the same. I think I am more skilful. I have the experience behind me. I think it’s a big misconception that you hit a peak in your 20s and you decline from there. I don’t think so at all, I think a man’s prime is in the whole of his 30’s and you don’t hit a peak and decline, rather you hit a big plateau and whereas your rate of improvement might not be as fast as in your 20s , you have all that experience and knowledge behind you,” Bovell observed. “You know exactly how to train smart, you know exactly how to race and you are so skilful, the biggest details come like second nature, which is a huge advantage for the older swimmers.”

He added: “I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think it was going to be that way. If I thought my best days were behind me, I would hang the suit up.”

On the three-day George Bovell Dive-in clinic held at three locations last week, Bovell thanked his sponsors Oasis Water, Atlantic and SPORTT and said it was the most successful of the programmes to date.

“The level of athletes we were working with this time... surpassed (what we had in the past),” he said.

He noted that, “with an Olympic gold medallist and world champion (Roland Schoeman of South Africa) ...this served to really inspire and uplift the swimmers in the country; to show them being a great swimmer is possible.

He continued: “There is something to be said about learning backstroke from the best backstroker in the world (Arkady Vyatchanin) and current world record holder learning from two world champions in fly (Ross Burmester and Schoeman). It is a very unique, special experience for the youth, and it is something I hope we can build upon and improve upon in the future.”

Back on the Olympic path, and speaking of his own future, Bovell said his sole focus in 2016 will be one big taper for a peak performance at the Rio Games.

Olympic Committee president gears up to...

By 10.30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis hopes to be over the finish line at White Hall, having completed his 26.2-mile walk in the T&T International Marathon.

But he hopes that walk will be the start of something that will prevail for a long, long time.

Lewis will be walking the Marathon as part of the #10golds24 project aimed at developing a long-term system of funding and overall development for athletes competing in Olympic event sports.

The TTOC boss has decided to lead by example and walk the walk.

“I feel as ready as I can possibly be,” he told the Express yesterday. “I was hoping to do some specific preparation but I must admit, addressing some of the issues that would have arisen from the unfortunate event on the weekend, has caused a distraction.”

Lewis was referring to a break-in at Olympic House that was discovered on Sunday morning and is now under police investigation.

The break-in aside however, the TTOC president is “determined” to back up his words with action on Sunday, despite the daunting task facing him.

He admitted that he hasn’t participated in a T&T Marathon in “about 24 years.”

Further, he said: “As training, I did a 16-mile walk and I must admit I struggled a bit...The most I would have walked is three hours and 15, three hours and 20 minutes, and I know what I go through physically.”

The anticipation of future pain and suffering however, is not uppermost in Lewis’ mind. It is setting a certain standard about which he is thinking. And getting public support for the “10 golds by 2024” concept.

“The focus is on serving our athletes and trying as best as possible to address their needs and issues. We can’t begin to address those issues if we continue to live in denial. The fact remains, even though many of our athletes in team Olympic sports are amateur, they have to go and compete for medals against people who are full-time...

“We have an obligation to make the best effort that we can to assist our athletes.”

The former rugby player will therefore be putting his banged up 54-year-old body through his walk of all walks as part of that obligation.

And he his hoping that public support for the project grows.

“This is not a one and done,” he said of the Marathon effort. “There are a number of fund-raising ideas.”

He said the TTOC will work with the business community to provide internship, mentorship and work opportunities for elite athletes.

Eventually, Lewis hopes that the fund will become a foundation, independent of Government control.

As far as Sunday goes however, the hope is that pledges come for as many marathoners as possible from, “former athletes, administrators, family and friends of athletes.”

Those who wish to support can make their pledges through the TTOC account at Scotiabank (Acc No. 171188) and cheques made payable to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.

As he tries to go the distance on Sunday therefore, president Lewis will be hoping that the public will be inspired to do the same. For 2024 and beyond.