The 33rd annual Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago (SOTT) National Games will be officially declared open today by President Anthony Carmona. The opening ceremony, which starts at 8am, will be held at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo with action in the various sports taking place until Sunday.

Today, athletics, football and bocce will be held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium while basketball bounces off at the Woodbrook Youth Facility. Powerlifting will be held at the Long Circular Fitness Centre with volleyball serving off at the Jean Pierre Complex.

Action continues tomorrow with aquatics at the Diego Martin Community Pool, equestrian (TT Police Service Mounted Branch), bocce and football (Hasely Crawford Stadium) also scheduled.

There will be a gala concert at 5.30pm today which has been organised in association with the Digicel Foundation.


Dr Patricia Butcher, president of the T&T Netball Association (TTNA) as well as the American Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) says former world champions, T&T should target a “Top Six” finish at the upcoming 14th Netball World Cup in Sydney Australia, from August 7-16.

The “Calypso Netballers” who won the world title in 1979 jointly with the Australia  and New Zealand, will come up against the top two teams in the world, host Australia and New Zealand in Pool A as well as Caribbean rivals Barbados in round-robin play. Dr Butcher said the team should be aiming to improve on it seventh placed finish from four years ago in Singapore.

Speaking yesterday, Dr Butcher noted that the T&T team was now going through a transitional stage with a few senior players retiring over the past year, but at the same time saw know reason why the team cannot improve at this year’s event.

She added, “We first need to be realistic about where we are as a team and then our chances in the group, because having to face Australia and New Zealand will not be an easy task in the group phase, while we expect Barbados being our Caribbean rivals to be a very strong challenge as well.

Prior to the World Championships, the “Calypso Netballers”, coached by Wesley “Pepe” Gomes will travel to England for a three-match series against that country from May 4 to 10th after which they will travel to Belfast to compete as the Netball Europe Open Championship from May 14—17 in Northern Ireland against the host, Scotland, Wales, England and fellow guest team South Africa.

Looking ahead to the two tours which will serve as the local women main World Cup preparations, Dr Butcher said it will be a very important for the team to gauge where they are in terms of readiness for August as we have taken the decision not to go to Jamaica for the final World Cup warm-up because we feel that the matches in Europe will be of much more use to us as compared to only facing Jamaica and Barbados.

Pool B of the 2015 Championship features world third and fourth ranked teams, England and Jamaica as well as Scotland and Samoa, while Malawi, South Africa, Singapore and Sri Lanka comprise Pool C, and the quartet of Fiji, Wales, Uganda and Zambia make up Pool D with the matches carded for the 21,000 seat Allphones Arena (formerly known as the Sydney SuperDome and Acer Arena), Sydney Olympic Park.

In terms of an overall development plan for the sport locally, the local netball boss said very soon her association together with the Ministry of Sport and Sport Company of T&T (Sportt) will be jumping off their youth programmes.

“Our objective is to develop high calibre players and we will be starting our programme for 5-12 years across eight communities shortly.

“We have already gotten the support of the Ministry of Sport and Sportt with regards to covering the salaries for our coaches and officials for the programme and this will be followed by similar scouting and training programmes in the national talent identification programme for players in the Under-16 and Under-19 age-groups across the country.

Butcher also said that former national players Janelle Barker and Lystra Solomon-Simpson are currently preparing the national Under-16 team for the upcoming Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Championship (Under-16) and the team is looking forward to doing much better than it did last year.

“We have taken a decision to make use of the former national players as a means of succession and since last September coach Barker and her assistant Solomon-Simpson have been preparing the team to the best of their ability.

“There is also the World Youth (Under-21) Championship to come in the next couple years and on completion of the World Championship in Australia, senior team duo, Rhonda John-Davis and Kemba Duncan will be dedicating much more of their time towards preparing that team as well, “ ended Dr Butcher.


Fifa has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar will take place on 18 December.

A Fifa taskforce recommended last month that the tournament should be switched from summer to winter.

The decision to hold the final on 18 December means Britain's traditional Boxing Day club matches on 26 December can still take place.

In another key decision, Fifa has chosen France to host the 2019 women's World Cup ahead of South Korea.

France will also stage the Under-20 women's tournament in 2018.

Walter De Gregorio, Fifa's director of communications, confirmed the 2022 World Cup would begin in November and finish on 18 December.

"Yes, we are going to play in November and December," he said. "And yes, the final is going to be played on 18 December. It's a Sunday and it's also the national day of Qatar."

How will a winter World Cup affect clubs?

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates told BBC Radio 5 live: "It's going to be very messy. We have to make the best of a bad job. The only saving grace is there's a long time to prepare for it."

The decision to move the 2022 World Cup from its traditional June and July slot was taken because of health concerns for players.

Summer temperatures in Qatar can exceed 40C.

Fifa also indicated that the 2022 World Cup could be shortened to 28 days. It normally lasts for 31 or 32 days.

Uefa, the body that governs European football, had pushed for the final to be as late as 23 December.

However, that option attracted opposition from Fifa members, who feared it would cause problems for fans and players getting home in time for Christmas, as well as affecting club football's festive programme.


TRINIDAD and Tobago has been selected to host the first leg of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (COZOVA) men’s beach qualifying tournament for next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from May 7-11, a week after the women’s opening leg is completed in Jamaica.

Fourteen countries are expected to participate and the top four male and female pairs will advance to the second stage, which will take place a few months later at venues to be determined.

The Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation staged five tournaments over three consecutive weekends recently to select the two male and two female pairs to fly the red, white and black flag in the opening qualifying legs.

Fabian Whitfield and Daniel Williams was the outstanding tandem as they won all five tournaments without dropping a set.

Finishing a distant second to secure the other spot were youngsters Abraham Eccles and Tevin Joseph.

It will be the first time for Eccles in national colours, but Joseph and Tarandath Deonath competed in the first three legs of last year’s NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Tour and went on to participate in the World Under-23 Championships in Poland in June.

The women’s qualifying series was very competitive as the photo-finish camera was needed to determine the winners and the third-place team of Elki Philip and Shenelle Gordon did not finish too far back.

The Ayana Dyette/Nancy Joseph and Apphia Glasgow/La Teisha Joseph combinations each won two tournaments to earn the right to compete in the first leg of the Olympic qualifier.

But youngsters Glasgow and Joseph were declared winners of the series as they had the better overall ratio—winning 31 sets and losing 14—than the veterans, who won 28 sets and lost 13.

After winning all nine tournaments they contested at home last season, Joseph and Dyette were not at their best, but they would have still won the series had they not been defaulted in their first match of the second tournament when the latter had a work commitment.

It cost last year’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games quarterfinalists tickets to the first tournament of this year’s NORCECA Tour as Glasgow and Joseph will compete alongside Williams and Whitfield from April 24-26 in Cayman Islands.

Whitfield and Williams secured this country’s only NORCECA medal when they picked up bronze in the home leg of the 2012 circuit.

There will be three rounds of Olympic qualifying in this region and just one male and female pair from COZOVA will be in Rio de Janeiro in August next year.

Shanntol Ince splashes into action this morning at the CanAm Para Swimming Championships, in Toronto, Canada.

The Trinidad and Tobago swimmer will compete in the qualifying round of the women’s 400 metres freestyle and 100m butterfly events. She is also expected to swim in the 50 free and 100 free.

Ince’s coach, Franz Huggins did not travel to the meet. However, his assistant coach at the Areios Aquatechs swim club, Daniel Tardieu accompanied the 19-year-old swimmer to Toronto, together with manager/physio June Durham.

Huggins told the Express the CanAm Para meet is a warm-up for a major August assignment.

“The meet is being used to familiarise herself with the pool for the upcoming Parapan American Games. Some of the best para swimmers in the US and Canada will be competing at the (CanAm Para) meet.”

In 2011, in Guadalajara, Mexico, Ince created history by becoming the first T&T representative at a Parapan American Games.

Just 16 at the time, she performed with distinction, bagging bronze medals in the women’s 100m backstroke S9 and 100 free S9 events.

Ince was one of the star performers at the 2013 Youth Parapan American Games, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, capturing four gold medals.

She won the women’s 400 free in five minutes, 30.41 seconds, and also emerged victorious in the 100 back (1:23.12), 100 fly (1:21.89) and 100 free (1:12.86).

Ince and visually impaired shot put and discus thrower Carlos Greene competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association yesterday hosted 30 participants at its head offices at the Hasely Crawford Stadium for the start of the CONCACAF ”D” License Coaching Course.

The objective of the course is to introduce coaches to the basics of coaching young players in a player-centred environment. The course will run for four days with the target group being coaches of players aged to 6-12 years old. Persons in this group include coaches, parents and teachers.
Among the topics of the course are the role of the coach educator; principles of coaching; principles of the game; age appropriate training; session training; physical training; small-sided games; goalkeeping; health and safety and community club development.
The course will be conduced by CONCACAF instructors Lenny Lake and Andre Waugh, while CONCACAF Development manager Jonathan Martinez will also be present.
The TTFA accepted application from members of the public before the final selection process was completed on Wednesday.
Among those participating are national women’s team players  Maylee Attin-Johnson, Dernelle Mascal, Ayana Russell, Jinelle Nedd  and Ahkeela Mollon, ex-national men’s team players Hector Sam, Marvin Oliver, Kerry Baptiste,  Justin Latapy and Nicholas Griffith, coach of FIFA award recipient club Crown Trace.