Prince Imran of Malaysia has promised he is ready to compete for a second term as President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) following the news, exclusively broken by insidethegames, Scotland's Louise Martin will stand against him.

Prince Imran, who ran uncontested in 2011 when he succeeded Jamaica's Michael Fennell, declared he would run again for a fresh four-year term at last week's CGF Executive Board meeting in London, after which Martin also announced she would be a candidate.

Speaking today in Malaysia, the 66-year-old, who has served as a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2006 and also heads the Olympic Council of Malaysia, welcomed all challengers but vowed to compete the controversial reforming measures he claims to have set in motion.

"We have undertaken a lot of reforms in the CGF with a new strategic plan," he said, as reported by Malaysian news agency Bernama.

"Having started the process and completed the first phase of getting everything approved and moving, I now want [to] see through the implementation process."

Prince Imran, the CGF's vice-president for eight years before taking over the top job, presided over the success of last summer's Games in Glasgow, which he declared the "best ever" at the Closing Ceremony.

His tenure has, though, also been clouded by an attempt to move the CGF headquarters from London to Kuala Lumpur, something fiercely criticised before being abandoned at last year's General Assembly.

If the Malaysian is not elected he will become only the second CGF President to serve just one term at the helm.

The first was Hong Kong's Arnaldo de Oliveira Sales, who served between 1994 and 1998 but had to step down because Hong Kong left the Commonwealth following its handover to China in 1997.

If successful, Martin would become only the second Scottish CGF President following Sir Peter Heatly, who held the position between 1982 and 1990.

Martin claimed her intention to stand is not based on any desire to remove Prince Imran, but more a longstanding personal ambition following years of experience in the Commonwealth Games Movement.

Among those to endorsed Martin is Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis, who praised her "exemplary record of effective and decisive leadership".

"She is passionate about and committed to the Commonwealth ideals, values and spirit," he told insidethegames.

"If elected she has the vision, capacity and capability to be an excellent CGF President."

A final decision as to who will lead the 71-member body is due to made during the CGF General Assembly in Auckland on September 2.

It is still possible more contenders could emerge before the May declaration deadline.

Meanwhile, Prince Imran has also revealed today that he is seeking an additional two years as President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), which he has led since 1998.

He intends to seek re-election for a ninth term at the body's Annual General Meeting on August 22, although he hinted that, if successful, it would be his final term in office.

"I don't really want to go past 70 in the OCM because I think it's time [to pave the way] for young people and I'm getting close to that," he said.


George Bovell won his second Sportsman of the Year, Cleopatra Borel won her fourth Sportswoman of the Year…but alas, and that is not the real story. The senior women’s footballers won the Lystra Lewis award for team performance and that too was not the story.

There was even two winners in different categories of the Jeffrey Stollmeyer award for administrators—the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) and the Archery Federation. Even that was not the story. At least not to me!

The occasion was the First Citizens Sports Foundation Awards, a gala event to honour those who have brought joy, pride and a smile to T&T sports, witnessed by many leading sporting personalities.

This year’s production was different. The use of Nicki Crosby to engage the early arrivals to Queen’s Hall was entertaining. It was pleasing to witness an attempt to improve matters in this area, it is at least a step or two in the right direction.

There was also a clear and convincing dividing line between both Natacha Jones and Wendell Constantine, as they appeared to have learnt about those they highlighted unlike previous years, both in delivery and in smooth transition, several of the sporting persons would be glad to know that the hosts cared enough to educate themselves on their respective sports, this year.

There were two special moments for me.

Dr Keith Clifford is a forward thinking man, even if he has a tendency to be somewhat argumentive and impatient, one is from years of intensive reading and knowledge and the other some say (not me), due to the impending evolution of time or better described as “old age”.

However, to his credit, he not only met the required time, but identified the growing needs of this country and was succinct enough to leave many thinking. Dr Clifford’s invocation to support the most forward thinking idea in sports in this country for a long time, president of the Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis’ idea of ten gold medals by 2024, was spot on.

Another innovation was the decision to have a feature speaker, Dr Hilary Beckles, whose entire resume was shortened, otherwise his delivery time would have been cut in half. Dr Beckles will become the Pro Vice Chancellor for the University of the West Indies in May. He identified that governance in Sports in the Caribbean is in a sorry state. Sadly, there was no one from the West Indies Cricket Board present, as the two T&T directors would have probably been in Jamaica for the futile elections on Saturday. All present were very appreciative of his words.

I would have liked to hear a few words from the Minister of Sports. While handing out the top ten sporting personalities was good, perhaps this area can be addressed again.

As to presentations, it was certainly a lot better organised, except for lack of communication in relation to the appearance of Rhean Chung on the stage, and not a representative. And while it was sad, it was also moving to highlight those from the field of sports who died in 2014.

I was moved by the presence of Hockey matriarch Florence Kelshall, who at the age of 99, caused an uproar and brought the crowd to its feet, every single persons to acknowledge a true leader and administrator, the smile on her face both radiant and imposing. Having met her over 20 years ago, it was great to watch her stand on her own and acknowledge the cheers from an appreciative crowd. It was the sort of poignant moment that will resonate with all of those at Queen’s Hall on the night and even those watching on television or listening on radio.

The other special moment was when Cleopatra Borel said the words: “Chase your dreams.” This young lady is the absolute and complete athlete. She is an unforgiving sport and as her dearly beloved mother Marcelle Borel, who collected the award on her behalf stated, she is in Cuba putting herself through the regime of discipline work ahead of the World Championships in Beijing later this year.

Faye-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin were able to inspire this crowd to raise their hands and sing along with them both to start and finish this programme. It was pleasing to watch this interaction and the broad smiles on the faces of all, told a story of enjoyment. Perhaps this explains why for the first time in the many years since I have been covering this event, that I did not realise the show was over, until I saw the President and his entourage leave.

Both Anthony Dennison and Judy Chong-Dennison will be happy, and deservedly so, as well as Dexter Charles, the Marketing manager at First Citizens, who seemed to be everywhere on the night. But let us not ever forget the tireless effort of the effervescent Jennifer Lander, whose sporting background always ensures that these events are well organised.

Congrats to all involved and looking ahead to further improvements in the interactive display and outlook, with links to viewers and those in Queen’s Hall, perhaps even a People’s Choice on the night, based on voting a month before. Just an idea.



Hypolite’s fellow-coach calls on PM to answer

“Why did Cabinet rescind the decision to give Dr Ian Hypolite a national award?” This question is being asked by Dr Hypolite’s fellow-coach Gunness Persad. “I’m calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,” Persad told the Express, “to tell the country why.”

Dr Hypolite guided Jehue Gordon to men’s 400 metres hurdles gold at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Following the triumph, it was announced by then Minister of Sport Anil Roberts that Gordon would be given the Chaconia Gold Medal, and Hypolite would be the recipient of Chaconia Silver. However, in August 2014, Hypolite received a letter from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, informing him that the Cabinet decision to award him Chaconia Silver had been rescinded.

In an Express story headlined “Silver Snatched”, published on Independence Day last year, Dr Hypolite said he was embarrassed by the move. And in a letter to the Editor, published in the Express in September, the track and field coach expressed his displeasure. Yesterday, Hypolite told the Express he had nothing to add. “I have said all that I wanted to say in my letter to the Express before. I still don’t have a clear reason and idea why it was done.”

Persad, though, is not prepared to let the issue die, and is demanding answers from the head of Cabinet, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar. Persad is also enquiring about the long delay in presenting Chaconia Gold to Gordon. “Why, up to today, Jehue Gordon has not been given his national award?”

Gordon became T&T’s second senior world track and field champion—following in the footsteps of Ato Boldon—when he finished first in the 400m hurdles final on August 15, 2013. Almost 19 months have passed, and the 23-year-old track star is preparing to defend his title at the August 22-30 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. Yet, he has not yet been presented with his Chaconia Gold Medal by President Anthony Carmona.

Despite a national budget of close to $60 billion, sport organisations, athletes and laudable programmes must scrap among themselves for a measly $57 million. You read right! It’s not a typo - $57 million is correct.

There are those who will point to the capital and social sector, Ministry of Sports and Sport Company of T&T goods and services expenditure to support their contention that the public sector and Government is taking sport serious.

The numbers don’t add up. Something is wrong with the sport investment formula.

Good governance, checks and balances must be compulsory. National sport organisations that aren't in compliance with basic requirements shouldn't get one cent from the public purse.

There are plans to revise the national sport policy. But how can you revise a policy that has not been fully implemented, monitored and evaluated.

This is another call for open discussions and dialogue.

A number of national sport organisations have found themselves battling for their existence as the financial and economic shackles can’t be broken.

As an organisation and institution, the Olympic Committee must remain nonpolitical. However, it has a duty to comment on the important issues that affect sport.

There are decisions being made that may not necessarily be in the best interest of sport in the country.

If we have to leave a positive sport legacy for our children and grandchildren, sport stakeholders must speak out and continue to speak out on issues that are fundamental to the sustainable development of sport and a sport industry.

Sport should not be classified as a drain on the treasury. The need for constructive and purposeful dialogue with national sport organisations is now urgent if the local sport system is to undergo a radical change from the dysfunctional realities.

We have to support new behaviour. Some of the actions that must become part of our daily behaviour patterns include:

- Consistent attention to execution and implementation

- Appropriate action must be decisively taken

- Fully account for and report on all public monies received

- Funding decisions must be fair and transparent

- Justify why projects and programmes should be funded

- Sport stakeholders must be told why their projects and or programmes are selected or rejected

- Criteria should be informed by policy

As local sport seeks to tackle difficult, complex issues an important element is to avoid the blind spots. Clearing away any blind spots requires a clear understanding of:

- The decisions that need to get made

- Within what timeframe will decisions happen?

- What are the key decisions that will be made that will make a significant difference

- Were all the options considered?

- Is there the capacity, resources and expertise to influence all of the decisions?

- What are the disincentives or barriers?

Investments in sport are crucial and urgent. There is need to create a larger pool of participants.

T&T should make sport development an integral part of the national economic development master plan. Sport and a sport industry is a means of job creation and can lift many families out of poverty. And be an engine of economic development, poverty eradication and reduction.

Sport enhances T&T’s national image, brand value and international status.

The positive benefits of sport outweighs the negatives - be it professional, amateur or recreational/social sport.

T&T must tap into the unlimited potential of sport. Let’s get serious about sport and sport development in T&T. There are significant barriers and issues that need to be confronted not tomorrow, today.

Brian Lewis is the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the national Olympic committee.

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Domonique Williams and Jereem Richards captured National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor Track and Field Championship titles, in New Mexico, USA, on Saturday.
Richards stopped the clock at 46.70 seconds to win the men’s 400 metres final. The South Plains College student had clocked 47.85 in the qualifying round. Central Arizona College freshman, Ruebin Walters was 21st overall in 49.59.
Williams was the class of the field in the women’s 400m final, the South Plains athlete earning gold in 53.84 seconds. Another Trinidad and Tobago runner, Western Texas College’s Marissa Gale bagged bronze in 55.29.
Walters secured bronze in the men’s 60m hurdles with a 7.88 seconds run. In the qualifying round, he had clocked a personal best 7.77.
In the women’s 200m finals, New Mexico Junior College freshman Kayelle Clarke was fourth in 23.86 seconds, while Williams and Gale were fifth and sixth, respectively, clocking 24.24 and 24.31.
In the preliminaries, Gale got home in 24.23 seconds, Williams produced a 24.39 run, and Clarke clocked 24.40. South Plains College sprinter, Aaliyah Telesford was 26th overall in 25.63.
Central Arizona College thrower Hezekiel Romeo finished fourth in the men’s shot put with a 16.91 metres effort.
John Mark Constantine clocked 6.85 seconds for seventh spot in the men’s 60m final. The Western Texas College sprinter was faster in the qualifying round, getting to the line in 6.75.
Telesford was seventh in the women’s 60m final in 10.49 seconds. She had clocked 7.50 in the preliminaries. Central Arizona College’s Akila McShine was 19th overall in 7.84.
McShine’s 8.66 run in the qualifying round of the women’s 60m hurdles earned her a lane in the final as the third fastest qualifier. However, she did not face the starter in the championship race.
Williams captured three gold medals at the NJCAA Championships. In addition to her individual 400m triumph, she helped South Plains earn the women’s distance medley and 4x400m titles.
Williams ran the second leg (400m) in the distance medley, helping her school to a 12 minutes, 17.58 seconds clocking. And in the 4x4, she performed lead-off duties, setting the stage for a 3:43.32 South Plains run. Gale ran the second leg for fifth-placed Western Texas College (3:50.99).
South Plains won the women’s team title with 147.5 points. New Mexico (73), Central Arizona (65) and Western Texas (30) were third, fourth and eighth, respectively.
South Plains also emerged victorious in the men’s team competition, Richards and company accumulating 136 points. Central Arizona were second with 116, while Western Texas (33) finished ninth.
At the ECAC/IC4A Indoor Championships, in Boston, Coppin State University’s Deandra Daniel cleared the bar at a personal best 1.87 metres to capture the women’s high jump title.
Temple University’s Kiersten LaRoche finished 11th in the women’s long jump with a 5.49m leap and 21st in the 60m hurdles in 8.93 seconds.
Haysean Cowie-Clarke clocked 7.10 for 23rd spot in the men’s 60m dash. And his Coppin State teammate, Mark London was 28th in the men’s 800m in 1:54.95.
At the Marc Randle Classic outdoor meet, in Texas, Dan-Neil Telesford finished third in the men’s 400m in 48.72 seconds and sixth in the 200m in 22.05. His Wiley College teammate, Quinn-Lee Ralph was fourth in the men’s 200m in 21.61 and 11th in the 100m in 10.99.


Less than two years ago, 2014 First Citizen Sports Foundation (FCSF) Awards Sportswoman of the Year Cleopatra Borel was ready to call it a day.
The veteran Trinidad and Tobago shot-putter suffered an injured index finger and she had failed to reach the Olympic final a year earlier by one spot, only to find out later that another competitor, who had reached the final, had tested positive for a banned substance.
It left Borel distraught. “I was there, and when I saw it, it tear at my heart,” related Borel’s mother, Marcelle, who collected the accolade on her daughter’s behalf from Reema Carmona, wife of President Anthony Carmona.
“Because she really worked hard up to that point. Then she got her hand damaged and she was really struggling. She went out there and did her best. We need to keep sports clean. Because she is doing it clean. Back home she started going back to natural foods: dasheen, fig, we tried to get that, so she do it clean.”
As Marcelle tells the story, Cleopatra consi­dered quitting. “Her dad was ill and she was really down at that time because she damaged her finger. She said to her dad, ‘I think I’m going to give up.’ He told her, ‘I may not be here but give it one more Olympics.’ He said: ‘Brazil has always been good to you. Go to Brazil.’”
The following year, 2014, Borel returned with a bang with one of her best years in the field. She threw consistently over 18 metres, and even beat the 19-metre mark. It resulted in her fourth Sportswoma­n of the Year title.
Marcelle has grown accustomed to seeing her daughter battle the odds and win. “Well, Cleopatra is a child that would always surprise us from small. So as she grows older, nothing surprises (us anymore).”
Via her mother, Borel thanked her coach, Ismael Mastrapa Lopez, her physio, the T&T Olympic Committee, the National Association of Athletics Administrators, the Sports Company of T&T, the Ministry of Sport and all of T&T, “especially (her native) Mayaro”.
Sharing honours with Borel on the night was George Bovell, the Sportsman of the Year. Ten years after his previous win, Bovell returned to the top of the podium with three World Cup gold medal­s among his many impressive achievements in 2014. “I’m incredibly honoured to be named Sportsman of the Year in this country,” Bovell said, “especiall­y going up against incredible athletes in the form of Keshorn Walcott, Christopher George and the likes of these amazing and outstanding young people.
“I’m just incredibly grateful for this award, for the opportunity, for my health. I feel very blessed and I like to say that I’m working the dream, not living the dream. Working it every day. Every decisio­n I make is taking me closer to or further away from my goals.”
Bovell’s next assignment after months of training is in Milan next weekend, following which he will set up camp in Italy, which he said could be a potential training base. Bovell said he is grateful to be doing what he loves.
Asked where his resilience comes from, the swimmer waxed philosophical. “Real resilience is those people out there who are taking six, eight rounds of chemotherapy fighting for their lives,” the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist said.
“Those are the real heroes out there. I’m really grateful and I’m very blessed and hope to continue to do it with a bang and finish on top.”