AFTER SUFFERING severe leg cramps during his final representation of the red, white and black as a National cyclist throughout the early stages of the 117km Caribbean Elite Road Championships Men’s Road Race in Barbados on Sunday, Emile Abraham expressed some regret at the disappointing way in which it ended, but still held his head high as he rode off into the sunset culminating an illustrious 30-year career.

Speaking after the challenging race, the 41-year old endurance specialist admitted that sweltering heat along the course did in fact play a part in his exit. Riding alongside compatriots Joshua Alexander, Sheldon Ramjit and Akil Campbell, Abraham looked good in the opening rounds and was among the five leading riders approaching the seventh lap. However, the experienced but weary muscles of the multiple National champion soon began to rebel, which forced the 2013 and 2014 Caribbean Road Race runner-up to pull out the race.

“It was very hot but I started off in the front group,” explained the former Rossetti Devo Cycling Team manager and cyclist.

“Joshua Alexander made the first break for the first couple laps and that put me in a good position, because I didn’t have to do the work and was able to just sit back and stay with the leaders. I stayed with the front group for a couple laps and I started to get into a little bit of difficulty with the heat and so forth and I lost the front group and had to chase back on, which I did.” He continued, “Then the following lap after that, I ended up going on the offence and I attacked. With a small group of four, and 30 seconds up, that really put me in the gutter. The next lap around I started cramping and that was the end of my day,” said a clearly upset Abraham.

Abraham has now stood down from all further major international competition, but will still get some race time along the American circuit. He is also currently working with an Under-25 team in the US, and is deeply intent on getting them to the Tour de France within the coming years.

“Maybe I’ll do some Masters (events) but nothing at the high level that I have been doing for the last 30 years,” he added.

“This is my fourth Caribbean Road Championships and I had a fourth and two silvers. It’s really disappointing with this being my last time here that I was unable to finish. But, I know I had a good reign over the last 20 years and I represented Trinidad and Tobago for 23 of the 30 years I competed.

I’ve always been proud of representing red, white and black wherever I went, and I’m really happy that everyone gave me the support in what I have done and now it’s just on to another chapter.” After a tough UCI Tour of Tobago and a similar Caribbean Road Championships, Abraham held in high regard the competitive progression of the region’s endurance riders.

He concluded, “Caribbean cycling has come a long way with respect to the riders and their abilities to be able to compete against each other and the rest of the world. I’m really happy to see the Caribbean and all the officials who have contributed towards the Caribbean Championships to make this what it is.

We need these kind of competition and games so the riders are able to race against themselves without outside interference. I’m also happy to see the UCI (International Cycling Union) is fully on board to support Caribbean cycling. This is why it has grown.”


The Schoolgirls Rugby All-Star team was on the wrong side of a heavy 55-5 defeat against a T&T Rugby Football Union Club Select team at the St James Police Barracks, on Saturday. Still, the young ladies of the Girls All Star team could certainly hold their heads high at the end of their maiden competitive outing of full-contact rugby.

Cheered all the way by a vocal gathering of friends, family and schoolmates, the All Star team valiantly attempted to resist the force of the Club Select. The Club Select, which included no less than four T&T senior women’s rugby players in Nicolette Pantor, Kathleen Stephen, Alesha Bruce and Blosson Stewart, jumped out to a 35-0 lead by halftime with five tries and five conversions.

The All Stars seemed to be rattled by the viciousness of the Club Select’s hits and searing pace which the more experienced team used to expose the All Star team’s defence.

By the second half, the All Stars found some rhythm and an early second half try by Aaliah DeGale boosted the team’s confidence. With braver and more organised defending, the All Stars restricted their opponents to 20 points in the second half and came close to the opposite goal line on more than a few occasions before the final whistle.

As recent invitees to train with the national team, Chantelle Charles and Pateia Paul led the school girls with distinction, while Danielle DeGannes and Aquila O’Brien also impressed.

Signs of the All Star team’s potential were certainly evident and among those applauding their effort were president of the School’s Rugby Football Union Gregory Rousseau, as well as coach of the senior women’s national team Carlton Felix.


Applicable and appropriate principles of transparency, fairness, value for money and accountability must be a feature of sport governance.
Financial fiddling, improper invoicing,  credit card misuse, misappropriation and inflated invoicing are risks that National sport organisations must mitigate.
The conduct of national sport organisations in respect of use of funds must be above reproach. Appropriate systems and processes are a requirement.
National Sport Organisations in receipt of public funds must produce financial reports that are auditable and reviewable.
Audited accounts must be a mandatory requirement for receiving public funds.

Fans of the country's sportsmen and women can expect to have a closer relationship with their heroes in the build up to next year's Olympic Games in Rio, with the signing of an agreement between the T&T Olympic Committee and The Fan Club, retailer of authentic apparel and branded souvenir gift items.
The agreement, signed last week, will allow for The Fan Club to market, distribute and sell T&T Olympic branded merchandise at its three locations in Movietowne, Trincity Mall and Gulf City Mall.

Fans can expect TT Olympic branded t-shirts,  polos, shorts, water bottles, coffee mugs, key chains, pins, jackets and track outfits.

TTOC president Brian Lewis described the initiative as another positive sign tor his organisation, noting that not only will the constituency of Olympic fans be brought closer to their Olympic heroes, but it demonstrated the TTOC's commitment to finding ways to increase its revenue earning capacity.

Lewis said that it was no secret that Trinidad and Tobago fans were passionate, and wanted to identify with the athletes who represented them on the big stage. "Fans have been asking about this initiative for sometime, and we have finally found a partner whom we believe can execute this process in a meaningful way. We know The Fan Club is a place where authentic fan apparel and gift items can be found. And we have no doubt that this relationship will bear fruit."

Director of The Fan Club, Mikhail Singh, noted that the store already had a relationship with the T&T Football Association, and was associated with the sales of Red Steel jerseys for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) earlier this year. "The TTOC is our signature sporting body in Trinidad and Tobago and we are very pleased to be associated with this project. We are hoping that fans can start getting their Olympic merchandise and branded items by November."

TTOC president Brian Lewis, and The Fan Club director Mikhail Singh, sign the agreement that will see T&T Olympic apparel and souvenir merchandise in The Fan Club's three stores at Movietowne, Gulf City Mall and Trincity Mall.

LONDON -- Rugby is enjoying a rare moment in the limelight in Japan on the back of the nation's breakout performance in the World Cup in England. But the onus is now on people involved in the sport back home to seize a golden opportunity and ensure the country delivers a successful tournament in four years' time.

     The Brave Blossoms bowed out of the Rugby World Cup on a high note, holding off a spirited U.S. team on Sunday to win their final game 28-18. Japan narrowly missed out on the knockout stages, becoming the first team ever to win three pool matches yet fail to progress to the quarter-finals. But the team leaves with their heads held high after what was by far the best showing Japanese rugby has ever produced on the world stage.

Brains and brawn

The dramatic rise of Japanese rugby can be put down to the tireless work of the players and the coaching and support staff.

     For years, there has been preconceived notion of Japanese players being naturally smaller and unable to compete physically with the sport's traditional powerhouses. Head coach Eddie Jones, however, refused to buy into that belief. Having taken the job in 2012, the Australian, who had previously led his home country at the World Cup, immediately began working on strength and conditioning, while at the same time ensuring players spent enough time outside the gym, raising fitness and endurance, traditional strengths of Japanese teams.

     Taking this combined approach to physical training has been made all the more difficult by the limited amount of time the national team spends together. Jones' solutions involved rigorous training regimes supported by cutting-edge sports science.

     Training has been extremely demanding. In addition to up to four practice sessions a day, the players were required to be in the gym at 5:00 a.m. The accepted wisdom in a sport as physical as rugby is to lower the training intensity in the runup to a big game, but Jones insisted the players continue weight training right up to match days.

     "It was the hardest training I have experienced in my rugby career," commented one player.

     Health and nutrition have also been key aspects of Jones' preparations, with the head coach getting the players to wear GPS devices, enabling the coaching staff to monitor the amount of ground each player covered during training sessions. Based on the data, the optimum level of nutrition was calculated for each player five times every day.

     Jones even enlisted the help of a system developer to create an application that recorded and managed daily changes in the players' physical condition. First thing every morning, the players were required to use the app to record over a dozen different aspects of their condition, ranging from their level of exhaustion to the degree of muscle tension. The information was then used by the coaching team to draw up practice plans and make team selections for upcoming matches.