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.

The Dwight Yorke Stadium could be ready to host the British Airways Legends Football Tournament in June.

Chief Secretary Orville London, Secretary of the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport (DEYAS), Huey Cadette and Assistant Secretary in that Division Jomo Pitt all met with Minister of Sport Brent Sancho last  Friday at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall to discuss the status of the stadium which has been closed since November 2012, as the  Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago has not conducted  critical repairs necessary for  Occupational Safety and Health Authority  (OSHA) approval.
According to Cadette, DEYAS will continue to discuss the issue with OSHA to determine which works can be completed in time for the tournament.
Cadette said during the meeting, it was agreed that an overall refurbishment of the stadium is necessary but that it cannot be completed in time for the Legends tournament. He is, however, comfortable with the decisions taken at the one-hour meeting.
These include facilitating the immediate use of the warm-up track and practise field outside the stadium.
Sancho said work has already started to rectify the problems identified by OSHA.
The Minister has also promised to have most of the problems with the track and main stand at the Dwight Yorke Stadium rectified by May.

The greater participation of women and girls in sports can help lift their involvement in society, fight gender stereotypes and accelerate progress towards gender parity, the head of the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment declared today.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment has been a marathon,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told a gathering at UN Headquarters. “But I hope we’re in sight of the finish line so everybody has to be a sprinter now.”

The event – entitled ‘Looking ahead: the place of sport for women’s empowerment post-2015’ and held on the margins of the ongoing 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – underscored sports’ multidimensional role in enhancing women’s broader community engagement.

Sports programmes, the UN Women chief noted, can both fill gaps in basic nutrition and health care, bring together those who would otherwise be isolated, and tackle head-on the ever-present scourge of gender-based violence by dismantling the stereotypes of women as less capable than men.

Panellist and Olympic ice skating champion Michelle Kwan agreed, telling those in attendance that the inclusion of women in athletic activities was “not about giving a girl a ball with which to play, but about giving a girl a chance to dream.”

“When women and girls are fully able to participate in a society, all women and girls have the equal opportunity,” Ms. Kwan said.

At the same time, speaking on the merits of sports education for young girls, Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Executive Director of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), explained that team sports offered a host of physical and mental benefits for female children as it helped them build social networks and learn the “whole ethos of working together as a team.”

Beyond that, he added, athletic activities helped keep obesity levels in women down, reducing the overall costs to the health sector and the economy which otherwise would be “astronomical.”

“Through engaging in sport and living its values, women and girls can develop leadership skills, overcome bias, improve their health and become empowered,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka continued. “We insist that sports must feature in the post-2015 development agenda that Heads of State and Government will adopt this coming September.”


THIS WEEKEND is set to be full of talent, strength and competition as Special Olympics of Trinidad and Tobago hosts their 33rd annual National Games.

The event will see athletes from over 18 special-needs organisations from across the twin-island republic, including Happy Haven of Tobago and the Tobago Technical Vocational School, compete in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, equestrian, football, powerlifting and volleyball at various venues throughout Port of Spain.

On Saturday, after supporting and cheering on the athletes at their various disciplines, families and supporters can also enjoy live entertainment at the Gala Concert, hosted at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo, featuring performances by Destra Garcia, Sekon Sta, Ancil Valley and Neisha Guy (the respective 2013 and 2014 Digicel Rising Star winners), along with the Servol Special School drumming team and the Lady Hochoy Penal Tassa Group.

Those wanting to support the Games can come down to the Jean Pierre Complex from 9am. Entry to all disciplines at all venues is free.


A grant of $500,000 (£330,000/€440,000) is to be provided to the Vanuatu Association of Sports And National Olympic Committee (VASNOC) so they can rebuild their headquarters which was devastated in the cyclone which hit the island last weekend.

The funds will be provided jointly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), it was announced today.

A total of 11 people were killed in the natural disaster but many buildings have been destroyed and islanders left homeless.

At least half of the population, or about 130,000 people, has been affected, according to the Vanuatu Red Cross Society.

UNICEF estimates that at least 60,000 children across the country in the South Pacific Ocean could be at risk.

Besides helping rebuild the headquarters in the capital Port Vila, the money from the IOC and ANOC will also be used to help rebuild sports facilities in Vanuatu, an archipelago located in the South Pacific.

It will also provide aid to other countries in the region hit by the cyclone.

Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have all also been affected by the tragedy.

"Our thoughts and the thoughts of the entire Olympic Movement are with the people of Vanuatu," said IOC President Thomas Bach.

"We are committed to providing aid to rebuild Vanuatu's sporting infrastructure as part of the nation's rebuilding process.

"We want to support the athletes in this region so that they can return to their sporting life as soon as possible, and in such a way give hope to the whole population.

"Especially in such times, sport can play its part in helping people normalise their lives and rebuilding a shattered society.

"We hope that our contribution will give hope to the people of Vanuatu and others in the region on their difficult path to recovery."


NICHOLAS BONKOWSKY slew a giant for his first singles crown and Nekeisha Blake expectedly captured her fifth when the curtain fell on the National Badminton Championships Sunday night at Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas.

After both players had sparkled on route to the men’s title match, the clash between Nicholas Bonkowsky and Anil Seepaul was expected to go right down to the wire.

But the five-time national champion, who went in without dropping a set, struggled from the start and was easily beaten 21-14, 21-16 by the Canadian.

Although Anil Seepaul is now 40 years old, he is still playing at a very level and was confident of exacting revenge after squandering an 18-14 lead in the final set and going down in three sets when they clashed in last year’s semifinals.

Bonkowsky, whose mother hails from Trinidad, was then beaten in the final by Kerwyn Pantin in only his second tournament down here, but he got it right in his third on Sunday night.

This was the first national singles final in five year for Seepaul, who had played his other 13 in consective years from 1998 to 2010.

The player from Cristars Club won his five titles in a row from 2000 and has captured several triple crowns in this tournament.

Bonkowsky and Blake were in three finals on Sunday night, but neither managed to achieve their objective.

Blake was actually one win away from the triple crown and combined with the 27-year-old in the mixed doubles final, but the top seeds were beaten 21-18, 21-13 by Alistair Espinoza and national under-17 champ Jada Renales.

Blake had combined with Kerian Quan Chee, the under-19 bronze-medallist in singles, doubles and mixed in the 2005 Caribbean Championships (CAREBACO), a little while earlier to defeat Leanna Castanada and last year’s CAREBACO under-17 singles silver-medallist Renales 22-20, 21-15 in the doubles final.

Blake began the night by whipping Castanada 21-15, 21-10 for the singles title.

It was the first for the player who turns 28 years old next week since she had made it four straight four years ago.

After missing the next two years because of injury, Blake reached the semis when she returned for last year’s edition.

The player from FMT club was not the only one to finish the four-day tournament with a double crown. Espinoza, who was seeded to win singles but went out to Bonkowsky in the quarterfinals. picked up the first of his two titles when he and CAREBACO under-19 bronze-medallist Will Lee defeated the Canadian and 2013 national under-19 champ Jason Ramjass 21-15, 21-19 in the doubles final.

And top seeds Andre Lewis and Derek Singh nosed out former national champ Stephanie Mitchell and Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association president Derwin Renales 14-21, 21-16, 21-19 to retain their Masters’ (Over-40) crown.

CAREBACO singles gold-medallist Solangel Guzman, a Cuban who is residing here and is in the process of becoming a citizen, did not compete this time after completing a hat-trick of singles titles as well as triple crowns last year.