IN LATE February, even as the national men’s team was flying out to California, their female counterparts were returning from Uruguay; both squads failed to advance from their respective World Hockey League Round Two play-offs.

Recently, Newsday published the reflections of the men’s coach Glen Francis. Today, we feature those of women’s team coach Anthony Marcano.

Whereas the TT men lost all six of their matches, the women actually registered two victories - a 5-0 score awarded against Kenya by default and a predictable win over Caribbean neighbours Dominican Republic. Omitting the Kenya result, the women scored five goals and conceded 19 in five outings.

The World League is a means to qualifying for major hockey tournaments like the Olympics and World Cup. TT’s challenges, Marcano told Newsday, began at home; just getting the players assembled and in training was difficult. “We had a hectic year coming out of Commonwealth Games, straight into World League Round One, straight into the CAC Games,” he reflected.

The three tournaments were compressed between July and November 2014, after which the players took a break to recuperate, and some were also seeking gainful employment. The latter fact doubtless influenced the decision to select nine youngsters among the final18.

It was done, Marcano claimed, looking forward to the 2016 Pan Am Under-21 Women’s Championship, which Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to host.

Given the many issues, “Bumper,” as Marcano is affectionately known, felt TT had done well. Key to their performances, he said, was the fact that in the three weeks available before flying to Montevideo, they had worked strictly on their defensive game.

“The young ones obviously need some work, but I think they stood up pretty well,” he stated.

Among the stand-outs, he said, were co-captains Alanna Lewis and Patricia Wright-Alexis, goalkeeper Petal Derry, Kryzia Layne and youngsters Amie Olton and Jessica Lee. On opening day, Azerbaijan, ranked 19 by the FIH, beat TT 5-1; Alanna Lewis scored TT’s only item. Following Kenya’s default, they suffered successive 3-0 losses to France and Italy.

A double from Blair Wynne led them to victory over the Dominican Republic, but the French returned to hand TT a 6-1 beating, consigning them to sixth place among the eight teams. “We played a half-court game on everybody; we never played a normal three-quarter, and I think that was the difference,” he mused. “We know we’re quick at the front; if we get the opportunity and we counter-attack we are going to be fast, and teams understand that.” He believes long-term work on defence would ultimately change the TT’s international performances significantly, “But we need high-level competition to test that defence, he added.” With that in mind, “Bumper” has been working on a four-year-cycle plan that would avoid problems such as those which arose before the tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay and it would be critical in attracting quality opponents, both for purposes of player development and assessing overall team progress.

“If finance is an issue, then invite teams,” he adds. “But you can’t invite a team today for tomorrow. If you have a four-year cycle, you can invite a team to come next year, and they’re going to fit it into their programme.”

Meantime, domestic competition remains on hold as the National Hockey Centre turf in Tacarigua is being cleaned. Marcano says it costs upwards of $600 for a training session on the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, the only other artificial surface in TT.

Unlike the men’s team, the TT women did not qualify for Pan Am Games. Their next overseas assignment will be in October - the Pan Am Challenge in Peru.


The national Under-15 female water polo team delivered a 20-1 drubbing of Jamaica over the weekend in a friendly encounter at the Marlins Swim Pool, Westmoorings.

With the cancellation of the CARIFTA Water Polo Championships, Jamaica and Curacao’s water polo teams decided to come to Trinidad for some friendly competition. Curacao brought their Under-18 male team which took on this country’s Under-15 counterparts. In two games, it was all square when the water calmed, as both team registered a win each.

Next up for Trinidad and Tobago is CCCAN Water Polo Championships later this year.


A SERIES of community sporting events is being planned for Diego Martin and its environs, starting in mid-April and running for eight weeks. Shurland Hartley, who heads the West Penn Sports and Cultural Organisation, says the objective of the series is to provide opportunities for recreational sport, and in the process, keep young people in the communities away from crime.

The largest and longest-running event will be the West Penn/RBC Youth District Football Tournament. Starting on April 12, it will be contested in two age-group divisions and run on a league basis. Eight teams are registered for the Under-16 division- Belle Vue/Bournes Road, Blue Basin/Bagatelle, Carenage/Pt Cumana United, Patna/River Estate, Petit Valley/Simeon United, St James United, St Lucien United and St Michael’s School for Boys. The same teams, minus St James and Belle Vue/Bournes Road will contest the Under-19 division.

Matches will be played at the Patna/River Estate ground, the Carenage Community Centre on Haig Street, the Belle Vue Community Centre, Diego Martin North Secondary and at Nelson Mandela Park in St Clair. RBC is footing costs associated with the running of the tournament as well as cash prizes. The champion Under-19 team will receive $5,000, while the Under-16 winners will collect $4,000.

Additionally, running enthusiasts will have their chance to participate in two events on May 10. The “Diego Run” will consist of a 5K race from the Diego Martin North Secondary School and back, as well as a half-marathon that will take runners through many of the communities. The half-marathon carries a cash prize of $6,000 for both male and female winners; when it was first run off last year, Tonya Nero and Cleveland Forde were the winners.

Hartley says that aside from RBC, the events are also receiving assistance from the Ministry of Community Development, the Sports Company (SPORTT), the Defence Force, WASA, Blue Waters and the NLCB. The football tournament opens on April 12 at the Diego Martin North Secondary School; the West Penn organisation has invited Sports Minister Brent Sancho and RBC Managing Director Darryl White to attend.


Thousands of pupils from schools in and around the nation's capital made their way from the Queen’s Park Savannah to the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, on Friday, bearing placards and banners as they participated in the Port-of-Spain and Environs “Walk Against Crime/Walk for Sport.”

The event, which kicked off near the Paddock area, began just after 10 am with the arrival of the Minister of Sport Brent Sancho, who met the students and the members of the Port-of-Spain and environs Sports Council. Also in attendance were members of the women’s national football team, including captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, Ahkeela Mollon, School Supervisor III Port-of-Spain and environs, Olson Oliver and School Supevisor I Kathleen Pierre-Holder.

The children chanted, clapped and even danced with teachers as they called for the end of lawlessness.

Some of the smaller ones took breaks in between to have water and snacks, as the walk seemed a little bit more than they had bargained for, but in the end the pupils from all of the participating schools, including Maraval RC School, Carenage Girls' Government Primary School, Hokett Baptist, St Anthony's Girls Primary School, Richmond Street Boys Anglican and Sacred Heart Girls', all made it to the Hasely Crawford Stadium, where they then had a day filled with lots of fun.

Co-ordinator Kelvin Nancoo, thanked the sponsors, Blue Water, Atlantic, Ministry of Sport, the Sport Company, Massy, RBC and the Ministry of National Security for their co-operation in making the walk and sports day, a success.

“We want to make a difference and this is the start which you need,” said Nancoo. “To all the supervisors, principals, teachers and students who participated, I thank you for making a difference.”

Late morning saw the boys and girls of the district participating in the six-a-side tournament while the netball continued at the Jean Pierre Complex and the day’s activities culminated with the competitive relay festival.

Hokett Baptist delighted Principal Stanley Mahase as they walked away triumphantly with the boys football title when they defeated Diamond Vale Government in the final via penalty kicks. The girls’ football competition was won by Maraval RC who defeated a determined St Barb's unit.

Sacred Heart Girls dominated the relays winning every event from Under-9 to U-15.

Children left the Stadium asking when the next Sports Day will be held stating that the initiative of the Port-of-Spain and environs Sports Council was successful in using sport as a vehicle for change.


“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”—Will Smith

There are many people in T&T trying to do good things they work hard and face many obstacles.

As I sat in the ballroom of the Cascadia Hotel on the opening day of the 16th Secondary Schools leadership symposium—Thinking Sport—presented by the Sports Desk- the theme for this year, “Think Big, start small”.

I reflected on the effort many are making. People such as Valentino Singh who for 16 years has been making a positive difference to hundreds of secondary students have benefited from his dream and vision.

He has been a living testimony to the notion- Think Big, Start small.

People who think big, start small. He committed himself to an uncertain future. He sacrificed his personal good and security in favour of a greater good.

His mission and that of the Sports Desk—Thinking Sport—has touched many lives.

We sorely need in T&T people who believe the impossible can become a reality, who embrace and respect creativity, innovation and extraordinary.

Since most of us are comfort centred. We try to continue doing what we know how to do.

We may think we are pursuing new outcomes, but if achieving them means leaving our comfort zones, we find ways to avoid doing so. We prefer to be liked and be popular, to be with the in crowd. We avoid conflict so that we wouldn’t be put in the naughty corner. But conflict avoidance is really playing the politics of compromise. We go through the motions and in the process lose our uniqueness; we stop being true to ourselves.

Think big, start small clarifies the results we want to create and causes us to reorganise our lives. Instead of moving away from a problem, we move toward a possibility that does not yet exist. We become more energised, and our impact on others become energising.

Think big, start small creates the cycle of learning and empowerment. We move forward, hungry to learn something new, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

It creates positive energy and inspires others to higher levels of performances. Tackling challenges and embracing failure becomes our new normal frame of mind. What previously seemed unimaginable and impossible becomes doable.

We need to build a culture of yes we can and get rid of the culture of No. We need to build a culture of innovation. The world in 2015 is not the same world that it was in the 1990s.

We need to inspire, motivate and empower big ideas, big dreams, and big visions. Accept no limits.

Over the next four days as they do, the Sports Desk-Thinking Sport, will provide yet another cohort of secondary school students with the opportunity to meet, learn from; listen to exemplars of the “Think Big, Start Small” philosophy.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.” - Walt Disney.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”—Mark Twain

Think big, start small, fail quickly, scale fast. Diligently prepare for your lucky day!

Brian Lewis is the president of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the national Olympic committee.Support #10Golds2

Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Make your donation at any branch of Scotia Bank - Account#171188

Emmanuel Callender held off a strong challenge from teenager Jonathan Farinha to capture gold in the Falcon Games men’s 100 metres dash, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, yesterday. Callender, a two-time Olympic sprint relay medallist, clocked 10.42 seconds, while 18-year-old Farinha got home in 10.43. Suriname’s Ifrish Alberg was a distant third in 10.73.
In the qualifying round, Callender produced a wind-assisted 10.34 seconds run to advance to the final as the fastest qualifier.
Marcus Duncan was also a heat winner, and had the fastest legal time on the day, 10.36. However, Duncan did not face the starter in the championship race. Darrel Brown, meanwhile, was a non-starter in the preliminaries.
Lisa Wickham won the women’s 100m in 11.69 seconds, from Kamaria Durant (11.76) and British Virgin Islands sprinter Karene King (11.83).
Shakiel Waithe produced a superb effort in the men’s javelin, landing the spear 72.44 metres. Waithe was the winner of the event, beating his nearest rival by more than 18 metres.
Fifteen-year-old Tyriq Horsford triumphed in the boys’ under-18 javelin with an impressive 64.01m throw.
Romona Modeste crushed her rivals in the women’s 400m. Modeste came off the final turn with a commanding lead, and motored to the line for the easiest of victories. She clocked 53.98 seconds, while second-placed Kafi Ottley got home in 56.95.
Tacuma Sterling won the men’s 400m in 47.39 seconds, beating Barbadian Nicholas Deshong (47.86) into second spot.
Josanne Lucas topped the women’s 100m hurdles field in 13.78 seconds. Venezuela’s Genesis Romero was second in 13.92. On Saturday, Lucas won the 400m hurdles, while Romero was golden in the long jump.
George Smith returned a time of four minutes, 03.77 seconds to strike gold in the men’s 1500m. Smith led his Defence Force teammate Cliffton Sylvester off the final turn, and opened the gap on the straight for a comfortable victory, Sylvester taking silver in 4:04.79.
Dawnel Collymore had things all her own way in the women’s 1500m, winning the race in 4:39.08.
Andwuelle Wright produced a 7.30m leap to emerge victorious in the men’s long jump.
Akeem Stewart was the class of the men’s shot put field, the para athlete capturing the top spot with a 17.94m throw. On Saturday, Stewart produced a 56.40m effort to win the discus.
Teenager Chelsea James threw 43.21m to win yesterday’s women’s discus event, following up on her runner-up finish in Saturday’s shot put. James threw the iron ball 13.70m. Her fellow-junior, Portious Warren was the winner with an impressive 14.88m throw.
Another junior athlete, Omari Benoit cleared the bar at 2.05m to win the men’s high jump title. And Livan Reyes emerged victorious in another Saturday event, the Cuban topping the men’s 5,000m field in 14:39.21. Jules La Rode finished second in 15:57.13.