FORMER national female rugby standout, Kwanieze John, arrived in Antigua on Thursday for a special five-day programme intended on raising an island-wide awareness towards the quickly growing sport.

The seasoned ex-athlete was approached in 2013 by the sport’s regional governing body - North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) - which saw her fit to begin tutoring youngsters throughout the archipelago of islands.

Thus far, John and several other representatives of NACRA have setup several developmental rugby bases throughout the Caribbean islands eager to see the sport as part of their nation’s sporting culture.

John and NACRA have already touched St Kitts/Nevis, Guyana and Curacao and have now approached Antigua. John will be joined by regional manager Tom Jones and development officer, Scott Harland, who will together assist in the introduction of rugby throughout the primary and secondary schools.

On this major initiative, the 24-year old explained: “NACRA had an initiative of introducing rugby into islands where there is no rugby. The governing body invited about six to seven Caribbean islands to the Caribbean Championships in Cayman Islands recently and this was done for them to get a first hand view of the game. Following this experience, St Kitts was the first island to call NACRA pledging strong interest in the sport.” According to John, this unique programme was initiated by the region’s respective National Olympic Committees. She currently serves as a rugby instructor who assesses the development of coaches primarily. In most islands without rugby, NACRA opted to train the teachers of both primary and secondary educational institutions to also serve as temporary coaches.

In St Kitts, the Ministry of Education and Sport Department was heavily involved in the introductory programme and have given the green light for continuity.

Speaking on her works in St Kitts over the past two years, John continued: “My initial visit (to St Kitts) was focussed on the primary and secondary schools where I coached about twentyfive teachers how to introduce rugby in their schools. For my second visit, I focussed on the sport department coaches and there were about thirty participants.

We (NACRA) provided them with the necessary resources such as balls, cones and equipment so that they would be able to run their school programme and use rugby as a tool in their sport development.” John also spoke of NACRA’s recent project alongside the International Rugby League Federation’s “Get Into Rugby” programme. This worldwide project also aims to develop the sport with new players, coaches and administrators.

Additionally, it encourages rugby in a safe environment which will assist in breaking barriers and mental blocks about the sport. Top priority on NACRA’s list is to also ensure that rugby remains safe, injury-free and fun.

“We will continue work with them (Caribbean islands) to develop a union or rugby organisation in Antigua and Barbuda. Based on how discussions go in Antigua, we will arrange for another visit more than likely in the summer. The ‘Get Into Rugby’ programme can also be incorporated into sport camps. It is not difficult to teach and learn. The sport is almost adaptive,” concluded John.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) extends deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Alloy Lequay.

Mr Lequay's left and indelible mark during his long and meritorious contribution to sport and the history of sport in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

He played a key role in the de-centralisation of cricket in Trinidad and Tobago and was influential in Table Tennis.

It was the vision of the former cricket administrator to acquire lands for a National Cricket Centre, which houses among other things the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre and an international-size cricket field.

May His Soul Rest In Peace!


Brian Lewis

TTOC - President


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 15, 2015 - Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, President of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) says he wants a more united  Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA).


This was the view of Marte Hoffiz during his detailed presentations at the CAZOVA congress held at Cascadia Hotel & Conference Centre.


Marte Hoffiz, who is also the First Vice-President of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) noted that of all three bodies –AFECAVOL (Central America) ECVA (Eastern Caribbean) and CAZOVA-  the latter seemed the least united.


A Dominican Republic native, Marte Hoffiz stated that with the work being done in the FIVB, the sport in NORCECA, which he sees as the second best run body behind Europe, is moving forward and at a quick pace.


However, his major concern is that some CAZOVA members are not keeping up with that shift and run the risk of being left behind, which in the end will work against its development and that of the overall body in the future.


Reflecting on the early days, Marte Hoffiz recalled when CAZOVA was now being put together back in the early 1990’s through the efforts of Curacao and now to have 14 full members, along with the ECVA and AFECAVOL combined has made for a strong 41 member NORCECA, a very powerful force in the FIVB.


During his opening remarks, Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee president, Brian Lewis send out a challenge to those present to put the sport they were entrusted to lead and govern first, by putting athletes first.


Lewis, said, “It is very important of sporting bodies to understand the importance they have on society today as we are called to serve through sport when we get elected as officials, however too often we tend to be self-serving when elected to serve our important assets, which are the athletes.


He added, “We need not focus on what we as officials can accumulate from the sport, but the positive difference we can make in the sport.


“Sports make a powerful positive difference, but it’s not able to show through when the leaders get it wrong,” warned Lewis.


Speaking directly to Trinidad & Tobago Volleyball Federation president, Daymian Stewart, Lewis said, “Personally as president of the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee, I have set the target of us qualifying two national teams for team events by the 2024 Olympic Games, as part of my 10 gold medals vision, and I see no reason why volleyball can’t be one of those two sports to do so.”


“Over the years volleyball has shown it has the potential and it’s important it does not fall away from the momentum it has generated in recent years.”


The sport of track and field is to benefit from a significant financial injection over the next three years. The National Gas Company (NGC) has committed to contribute $4 million annually to the Athletic’s governing body, the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) from 2015 to 2017.

The announcement, made by the NGC president, Finance and Information Management Anand Ragbir, means funding from the State-owned company has almost doubled from last year’s input of just over $2.3 million.

Asserting that the company was “meticulous”in ensuring that funds donated through its programmes are used in ways to ensure the best return on investment, Ragbir added the NGC was satisfied its support fitted in with three of the four priorities in the NAAA’s 2012-2016 strategic plan. Those identified priorities were: improved governance, including accountability and capacity building among its member clubs, operational effectiveness and the development of corporate and other partnerships.
Ephraim Serrette, the NAAA president, said the three-year sponsorship would enable his organisation to better plan its programmes, knowing what they have to work with.

“In 2014 we were able to effect a lot more of our operational plans, based on what was set out in the strategic plan because of the intervention of the NGC to the tune of $2.3 million. In the past, we would have been planning with a hope of getting funding to do some of the programmes. It now leaves us with a better planning framework.”

Serrette added that targets set in the sponsorship agreement would provide the impetus to deliver and evaluate. “Our targets,” he said, “are with respect to development, how many more technical officials we are going to train over the next three years, how many more developmental programmes based on the coaches, programmes to deal with drugs in sport, all the different educational aspects of the sport.”

“We can now leave whatever allocation is given to us by the Sport Company towards team travel,” he added, “and the funding that we are getting from the NGC would deal with the administrative and development aspect of the sport.”

Yesterday’s announcement was made at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Among those in attendance were national icon Hasely Crawford, Minister of Sport Brent Sancho and TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis.


Is Trinidad and Tobago serious about Sport , sport development and high performance sport? Do the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago (1)consider Olympic Games and World Championship success important national objectives (2) Understand and appreciate the power and potential of sport?

The reality of the National budget for fiscal year 2014/2015 is that 57 million TT dollars has to be shared by 40 plus national sport organizations(NSOs) , the elite athlete assistance programme and other sport based programmes.

Isn't an allocation of 57 million dollars from a 60 billion  national budget  a clear and unambiguous  policy statement about sport in Trinidad and Tobago ?

57 million dollars out of 60 billion notwithstanding the outstanding contribution sport has made to the country's positive international image, the positive difference sport can make in the lives of  the children, youth and young people of the nation , the healthy lifestyle habits  sport can foster among  the general population , the significant economic potential of Sport and the sense of national pride when our sportsmen and women achieve excellence at the Olympic Games and on the World stage.

Billions invested in building sport facilities and millions spent on Ministry of Sport and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago salaries, goods and services.

Yet 40 plus national sport organizations/ national governing bodies each responsible and accountable for leading,managing and governing (1)the development of clubs,athletes,coaches,administrators and technical officials (2) participation growth and national and community development of their respective sports (3) for selecting, entering, preparing, outfitting national athletes and  teams to represent T&T in regional, continental and global tournaments and competitions(4)national competitions and tournaments have to share 57 million dollars in the context of a 60 billion national budget.

The National Gas Company (NGC) is pumping $12 million into the National Association of Athletics Administratons (NAAA) while NAAA president Ephraim Serrette mentioned the organisation is to introduce a board of directors by 2016.

NGC vice-president Finance and Management, Anand Ragbir, made the announcement of the deal at the VIP lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday. It will see the NAAA boosted by $4million annually over the next three years (2015-2017).

The sum represents a substantial increase from last year’s deal in which NGC contributed $2.3 million to the NAAA.

The funds are targetted at a kids athletic programme—similar to the NGC Right on Track programme of previous years)—developmental meets, participation and representation for international meets (for example Penn Relays, World Youth Championship, Pan Am Juniors and Pan Am Games) and capacity building which includes coaching courses and certification, club administration and management courses and officials training.

“NGC is meticulous in ensuring that funds donated through our programme are allocated in such a way as to ensure the best return on investment. We are satisfied, in fact, we rare very pleased that our sponsorship is aligned to the NAAA’s strategic plan 2012-2016,” Ragbir said, adding that the NAAA plan describes three priorities which are a good fit for NGC’s policy.

Ragbir said the first priority is improving governance, which he says will take place through constitutional reform and accountability in the management of athletics clubs.

Secondly the NAAA members will focus on operational effectiveness by increasing manpower and organisational restructuring.

Thirdly the NAAA will move towards developing corporate and other partnerships, leading to greater sustainability and improved financial independence.

“All of these goals are being sought in the context of the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil next year, where we expect to see the fruits of our labours proudly on display on the international stage. No pressure,” Ragbir quipped.

“We would love to really thank the NGC for this intervention and I must say it is going to take us a long way , “ said Serrette, who had earlier recognised the NAAA for the First Citizens Sport Foundation Best Administration award. “The Association is on a new pathway with respect to restructuring and the whole reform of the constitution and to operate as a company, as a board and in order to do that you need to have some sort of sustainability to attract the skill set that would be necessary for us to function in such a manner. So an intervention like this over a three-year period would definitely be something good for the NAAA.”

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis hailed the relationship between the NAAA and the NGC.

Lewis noted that athletics and track and field had contributed 14 of the 18 Olympic medals T&T have won in their history of participation in the quadrennial Games. And the former Harvard rugby player suggested the sport had not been given its just desserts.

“Of the three sports that have guided this country to Olympic medals-athletics, weight-lifting and swimming, two have never had the opportunity to have a state of the art, world class facility and a training centre so that those sports could have built on their Olympic medals - weight-lifting and athletics,” he said , adding that the country also has not seen it fit to establish a galleria where T&T’s Olympic medalists and history can be seen.

“Of the 200-plus participants in Olympic history, over 150 of them have come from athletics and the question to be asked is why is track and field and athletics not given the respect it deserves given its Olympic record and track record,” Lewis said.

Track and field clubs were also given racing blocks, relay batons and stop watches as part of the NGC package deal.