National sporting organisations the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) have all congratulated newly-appointed Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith and are looking forward to working with him.
TTOC president Brian Lewis said the Minister will have to hit the ground running as there are a number of pressing issues in the in tray. “With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games less than a year away. There is no margin for error. The National Anti-Doping Organisation is still to be established. The Elite Athlete Assistance Programme requires attention,” Lewis outlined.
“Given the economic realities, important but hard decisions will have to be made. “The TTOC looks forward to meeting with the Minister to discuss Rio 2016 and 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024 among other aspects in respect of Olympic sports in Trinidad and Tobago,” Lewis added.
Meanwhile, TTCB president Azim Bassarath has high expectations for Smith, saying that after a tumultuous five-year period at the Ministry of Sport-- under three different ministers-- his organisation is looking forward to working with the new appointee for the benefit of the cricket community and the nation at large.


…wants mini-stadium for Caledonia

Former national coach and current technical director of Morvant Caledonia United Jamaal Shabazz says he is hopeful that things will improve for his community and club with the coming of the People’s National Movement into power.

Speaking on the eve of yet another Digicel T&T Pro League season as head of the Morvant/Laventille club coaching staff, Shabazz said, “The PNM knows that our mothers and fathers have been loyal to the party and while we are not asking for hand-outs, we need for them to remember who has stood with them, during the darkest days of the party.”

“If we get a mini stadium, a cultural facility, a top class library and even our own hospital and mall in Morvant we will be able to change our condition on our feet than instead of on our knees.”

“Is that really too much to ask of a party that has never lost this constituency?” Questioned Shabazz.

Notwithstanding the challenges, Shabazz has an ambition to ensure Morvant Caledonia United continue to be a factor for progress and development. “I live in Morvant, I went to school here and I stand for a united community; football by in its nature, is a factor that can bring the people together.”

“Once we get the necessary resources and the facilities, we are going to address this foolish gang violence in our community.

Because our players come from all parts of Morvant and Caledonia and I am not accepting any borderlines,” he ended.

With regards to the his club Shabazz stated that Caledonia will continue to play our part in the national and regional development of football.”

He added, “In the 36 years of our existence while I am proud of some of our achievements on the field.

I am more happy for the avenue we have been able to create for young people to develop themselves in a disciplined environment.”


Expect a united Morvant and Caledonia this 2014/2015 T&T Digicel Pro League season as Caledonia AIA FC has rebranded itself to Morvant Caledonia United.

Formed in 1979 by a group of school boys from Morvant, Laventille and environs Caledonia AIA has emerged as one of the top clubs not only in T&T, but in the Caribbean region as well, being crowned Caribbean Football Union Club Championship winners in 2012 and representing the Caribbean at the Concacaf Champions League, both in 2012 and 2013. Now they have branded to Morvant Caledonia United, with a mission to strategically unify the community.

Speaking about the club’s rebranding, the founder and technical director Jamaal Shabazz explained that it’s five years now they’ve been discussing rebranding since Caledonia is a small part of the bigger entity which is Morvant.

The emergence of gang related activity, divisive politics and the like has rendered our community into sectors and borderlines.”

Over the years Caledonia has contributed towards the successful development of many notable players like: Russell

Latapy, Dennis Lawrence (both of whom are now practicing coaches), Stokely Mason, Shurland David, Densill Theobald, Conrad Smith and Radanfah Abu Bakr just to name a few.

In addition, the club has also been an avenue for Caribbean players to gain opportunities as well. With players like Charles Pollard, Walter Moore (Guyana), Kendal Velox, Wesley John (St. Vincent and The Grenadines), Franklyn Drayton, Franklyn Baptiste (Grenada), Titus Elva and Valencius Joseph ( St Lucia ) all passing through the “Caledonia” ranks.

While they have not won a National league or the T&T Pro a League title, Caledonia has won the  FA Trophy on three  occasions and several cup competitions in the Pro League including the First Citizens Cup, Digicel Pro Bowl and the Lucozade Shield.

However for Shabazz, the trophy that he covets the most is winning the most disciplined team title in 2011/12 Pro League season.

“Discipline and the way we carry ourselves on and off the pitch is so important to us at the club. We strive for order and discipline in an environment where mob rule, chaos and disorder stares us in the face.”

“I have been motivated by the likes of Desperadoes, Massy All Stars, Solo Harmonites and Malick Folk Performers as good organisations coming out of our communities.”

“I hate it when our players get a yellow or red card and I cannot see anything that will make me as a coach get ejected from a game. The example we set to our communities is what keeps us in the game and in the battle for the minds of our young people.” “That’s why that the Most Disciplined Trophy meant so much to us,” he added.

Shabazz has admitted however that it has been an uphill task over the years as often times the club has lost battles but he remains hopeful in the war.


With the right sport policy, Tobago can consistently compete with larger countries on the world stage. That’s the view of Annette Knott, Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. Knott was speaking during last week’s stakeholder consultation on the review of the Tobago Sport Policy, which took place from August 27-28 at the Lowlands Community Centre, Tobago.

The consultation, hosted by the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, featured several key interest groups, including the Ministry of Sport, sporting organisations and personnel across the island. Knott said Tobago has shown tremendous athletic potential despite having a small population of 60,000.

The event atracted over five dozen participants from a large cross-section of sporting disciplines from the sister isle which include - the Paradise hockey Club, Tobago Hotel Association, Soren Bishop of SSFL,  FCB sports Foundation—Catherine Forde, Ainsly King of the YMCA, Brandon Gray—Leeward Golf Association, Tobago Netball League—Ruthlyn Antoine and Kieron McDougal of the Tobago Basketball Association.

Technical Director of the Division’s Department of Sport Justin Latapy-George called for a collaborative approach to take Tobago forward. “The consultation speaks to where we want to go, to have critical feedback from the stakeholders and to guide the process forward inclusive of implementation and periodic evaluation,” Latapy-George stated.

Tyrone J Marcus, the attoney for the Ministry of Sport and facilitator of the event acknowledged that the Sport policy needs to deal with the Tobago-specific issues, to ensure the desired development takes place.

Assistant Secretary with direct responsibility for Sports, Assemblyman Jomo Pitt during the consultation voiced that the “ideal pathway for Tobago athletes to perform at the national and international level has to be predictable and transparent. This leads to better accountability of both the local and national governing bodies.”  

The current draft of the policy includes four areas; development, community participation, facility management and the link between the Tobago Sport Policy and the National Sport Policy. Implementation of the policy is expected to begin next year.


Justin Gatlin’s agent has accused Britain of hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to doping.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of Gatlin’s final race of the 2015 season, Renaldo Nehemiah contrasted the BBC’s treatment of his client to other doping offenders, notably British sprinter Linford Christie, who was banned for two years in 1999 after testing positive for nandrolone.

“As much as they want to pile on Justin Gatlin, all I’ve got to do is bring up Linford Christie and they look like fools,” said Nehemiah. “They all defended him, they all thought he was innocent, that he never did anything. See what I’m saying? They come up with every kind of excuse [for Christie]. That to me is very telling.

“Paula Radcliffe’s name has come up and now she’s having to defend herself, so I’d like to see if they’re going to get on her and ask: ‘did you do this?’”

Nehemiah feels Gatlin has also been singled out by British promoters, who have made him unwelcome at their events since his doping ban in 2006, but invite other athletes who have served doping bans.

“In Britain it’s like once you do something in the sport of athletics and doping, it’s an unforgivable act,” says Nehemiah. “Human nature is that you allow someone to rehabilitate, to repent and overcome that, but they don’t let you turn away. They gloat in rubbing your nose in it. If the system can’t break you, then they want to break you.”

He revealed Gatlin has been drug-tested 62 times already this year. “It’s ridiculous,” he said, “but he’s a targeted profile and that’s fine.”

Nehemiah picked out the BBC’s coverage of the American sprinter during last month’s World Athletics Championships for particular criticism. He said the commentary on the men’s 100m final – during which Steve Cram said Usain Bolt’s victory may have saved his sport – was biased.

“He’s reckless,” said Nehemiah of Cram. “Privately you can have that opinion, but when you’re on the national airwaves, you have to be balanced. You can’t manipulate your audience and there were a lot of manipulating comments.”

In Beijing, Cram defended his commentary. “I don’t think we do have to be neutral,” he said. “I think we need to give strong opinions. That comment was not about Justin Gatlin, it was about the whole sport needing its hero to win.”

Nehemiah believes Cram crossed the line, however. “I thought: ‘man, this is really evil,’” he said. “You have every right to call him a drug cheat, but you also have to be responsible.”

Gatlin, meanwhile, will close his season after competing in both the 100m and 200m on Friday night. When asked by The Independent if those who were now giving him a second chance can be sure he was running clean, Gatlin grew indignant. “No comment,” he said. “Who’s out there to reassure? I owe nobody nothing.”


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is looking forward to working with whoever is appointed the New Minister of Sport.
The Minister will have to hit the ground running as there are a number of pressing issues in the in tray.
With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games less than a year away. There is no margin for error.
The National Anti-Doping Organisation is still to be established .
The Elite Athlete Assistance Programme require attention.
Given the economic realities important but hard decisions will have to be made.
The TTOC looks forward to meeting with the Minister to discuss Rio 2016 and 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024 among other aspects in respect of Olympic sports in Trinidad and Tobago.