As someone who works in the sports medicine industry, I strongly believe in proper youth development and exposure. Keeping it as broad as I can, my eight-year old has tried football, cricket, lawn tennis, golf, skateboarding, triathlon training, table tennis, some trail biking, even some yoga and stretching. My four-year old has tried a little football, gymnastics and ballet in structured settings but I allow her to climb everything and anything possible and ride her bike regularly. My objective is to expose them to as many sports, for as long as possible to avoid the curse of “early specialisation.”

I know two fathers who had or have their son in gymnastics or hip hop dance. One father told me that he put him in gymnastics so that when his son scored goals in football, he would be able to celebrate with flips. The other father just thought that dance would help with his footwork and coordination. Regardless of the reason, these fathers did their sons a huge favour in their “out of the box” thinking.

One couple I know, having learnt the hard way through two of their older offspring, has taken it on themselves to invest in two of their teenaged sons from now. Seeking the help of proper professionals, a programme was devised to take the boys through a three-month programme that would expose them twice a week to some habits that will serve in their best interest throughout their athletic life. I really commend these parents on this insightful move as their children have frankly stated that they are committed to taking their sporting careers as far as they possibly can–Olympics not being out of the question.

It is never too early to start instilling good habits in the lives of young athletes. Full body training, proper warm-ups, proper stretches as part of the cool down, good rehydration habits, eating right, training the mind…. Creating even a single well-rounded athlete is a huge investment of time and money—something that we do not do much of here, making it quite the phenomenon when an athlete or a team conquers the odds and makes it to the highest levels of their sport.

Injuries in sport are inevitable so it is only common sense to do as much as possible to avoid the avoidable ones. I can remember during the days of Tiger-mania when people talked up his amazing strength and conditioning regime and how this played such a huge factor in his professional performance as a golfer.

However, Tiger has now taken a leave of absence to allow himself time to work on his game, returning only when he believes he has returned it to a healthy competitive level—how long that will take he does not know. A scroll through his laundry list of injuries will unveil that this $600 million net worth athlete has been dealing with injuries since 1995 during his college days and has had surgeries done on several parts of his body including his knees, elbow and back. It would seem that Tiger is a victim of early specialisation, as he is said to have focused on golf from a little boy.

The truth is, most sports are late specialisation sports and they are categorised as such based on a number of factors—kinesthetic awareness, the visual tracking component, and the physical requirements of the sport which is developed from a foundation of general athleticism. Most team sports fall into the category of “late specialisation.” Not to be confused with or to discount the importance of “early exposure” which encourages a less intensive means of familiarisation, “early specialisation” is the deliberate act of honing in on the development of athletic skills as is relative to a particular sport. Increasingly it is being proven that early specialisation is unhealthy both physically and mentally for individuals, especially in the long-term.

Some interesting reading I picked up although not a formal study that was done, involved the selection of the top ten North American athletes across the four popular sports of that culture, according to ESPN ratings.

They found that only 7 of them seem to have been single-sport athletes. They were able to find information on the other 82 per cent of the athletes as having participated in sports outside of the one they eventually went pro in. So keep it real and keep it broad if you want your kids to thrive in their sports. Don’t get caught in the hype.

Asha De Freitas-Moseley M.S. A.T.C., A. has been an athletic trainer/therapist with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) for the past 12 years. She specialises in the rehabilitation of injuries experienced in the lives of active and/or athletic populations applying active release technique (ART), facial stretch therapy (FST) and contemporary dry needling to complement her training as a certified corrective exercise specialist. If you would like a consultation or have an injury, she can be reached at Pulse Performance Ltd., located at #17 Henry Pierre St., St. James. Tel: 221-2437.​


The West Indies Cricket Board today announced leading Spanish sports brand Joma as the official West Indies team kit supplier for the West Indies men’s and women’s teams.
The West Indies men’s team will debut the kit in their opening match of Cricket World Cup on Monday against Ireland.
“What is particularly significant about this partnership with Joma is that they are not a traditional cricket kit supplier, yet they recognise the value of West Indies cricket on the world stage and have chosen to partner with the WICB as their launch pad into the cricket world,” WICB Commercial Manager Nelecia Yeates said.
The debut Joma West Indies kit design stays true to the globally recognised maroon which is accented with gold indicative of the sunshine, the energy and the effervescence of life that is indicative of the Caribbean and West Indies cricket.
Joma’s contract as official kit supplier will run until 2017.

Darrel Brown was among seven athletes who received elite funding yesterday from new Minister of Sport Brent Sancho.
Brown captured men’s 100 metres silver at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris, France, but has been struggling to find his best form in recent years. According to a Ministry of Sport press release, Brown “expressed his appreciation to the Ministry for his funding”.
“He indicated that this fund is necessary,” the release continued, “since the maintenance for athletes to perform at their peak and without injuries is very expensive. Brown further stated that he is looking forward to the Pan-American Championships (Pan Am Games) in Toronto in 2015. More specifically, his main focus is the World Championships where he foresees attaining his most successful accomplishments for 2015 whilst having an opportunity to improve his rankings.”
Brown, his fellow track and field athletes, Kai Selvon, Shawna Fermin, Geronne Black, Romona Modeste and Rondel Sorrillo, as well as cyclist Varun Maharajh, received a combined total of $397,500 from Minister Sancho.
Olympic medallists, Lalonde Gordon and Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, quartermiler Zwede Hewitt and boxer Michael Alexander received elite funding at an earlier date.
“The total sum of the Elite Athlete Funding released by the Ministry of Sport,” the press release stated, “for Fiscal Year 2014-2015 thus far is $1,015,000.
“Financial assistance is geared towards the provision of sport science and technology, and meets required nutritional needs.”
According to the release, Minister Sancho acknowledged the challenges of the elite funding programme.
“But one of the mantles that he intends to progress vigorously is consulting with athletes to find out how the Ministry of Sport can better serve them by maintaining a high performance level and in so doing, proudly fly the red, white and black at meets such as the upcoming 2015 Pan American Senior Games, NACAC Senior Championships, World Relay Games in Bahamas and the World Championships in China.
“In closing, Minister Sancho said he is very proud of the nation’s athletes and looks forward to a very successful 2015 and more so, Rio Brazil where he would like to see this country receive at least 10 gold medals.”


T&T Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis emphasised that constitutional reform to reflect good governance principles, like one member one vote, would assist a long way in bringing sport in this country to a commercially viable sport industry.

Lewis said while the potential is huge, a critical success factor is strong sport governance systems and procedures.

“Many of the existing Constitutions under which national sport organisations and national governing bodies operate need to be modernised and amended to include basic universal principles of good governance,” Lewis said.

Lewis added the Ministry of Sport, Sport Company of T&T and the T&T Olympic Committee( TTOC) must cooperate and work together to foster, facilitate and enable the necessary changes and reform.

“We can’t sweep the issue of poor sports governance under the carpet. It’s not about making cosmetic changes. There is need for reform.

“Some sports are operating in an undemocratic manner and aren’t conducting their affairs in a transparent and accountable manner.”

Lewis reminded that at their 67th AGM last April, the TTOC ushered in constitutional changes when they successfully moved a motion to stop outgoing executive members from having an automatic right to vote.

That motion received the unanimous support of the national sport organisations and the TTOC executive Committee members in attendance back then.

To be eligible to vote at the TTOC AGM, starting from the 2017 term, outgoing elected executive Committee members must now be a duly accredited delegate representing a financial and voting member affiliate.

“The change removing the automatic right to vote is a significant one with respect to sport governance and the notion of free and fair election of sport leaders,” said Lewis.

“The ultimate victims of bad governance and badly structured sport bodies are the athletes, children, youth and young people and the best interest and sustainable development of sport.”

“Constitutional reform is a priority in T&T Sport,” he concluded.


Experienced Trinidadian football administrator Richard Groden has been appointed general secretary of the embattled Guyana Football Federation (GFF). The development was announced through a letter from CONCACAF’s Normalisation Committee to associations on Wednesday. Groden will take up the position from March 2 and will have as his assistant local business executive Diedre Davis. She will take over as general secretary following Groden’s tenure.
“CONCACAF recommended Groden and he will serve as general secretary of the Federation during the tenure of the Normalisation Committee and will demit office on the completion of the Committee’s mandate,” said Clinton Urling, chairman of the Normalisation Committee. “Ms Davis will serve as assistant general secretary of the Federation and will work directly with Mr Groden in the coming months and will assume the functions of general secretary on Mr Groden’s departure.”
Groden is a veteran administrator who served as general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation until 2013. He has served on several FIFA and CONCACAF committees, and has led several organising committees to prepare T&T for several international tournaments, including their historic outing at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
“We have no doubt that with their exceptional qualifications and experiences they will contribute to the success of the Federation and to the growth and development of football in Guyana,” Urling said in the letter to associations. The Normalisation Committee was instituted late last year to quell the upheaval in the strife-torn GFF, and restore stability.

The decision of Edmonton to withdraw from the bidding process to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 is a reflection of the loss of status and impaired relevance of the Commonwealth Games.

One city bidding to host the Games is a blow to the image of the Games.

The Commonwealth Games Federation(CGF) and its member Commonwealth Games Associations can't simply engage in public relation spin .

This is a serious situation that has been developing for sometime years now.

It can't be business as usual.

The Commonwealth Games is in danger and if the organization and its members rationalize this situation away as due simply to falling oil and gas revenue then the eventual demise of the Games is near certain. Edmonton's withdrawal is a symptom of deeper and far reaching issues that the CGF has been ignoring for some years now.

The future of the Commonwealth Games after Gold Coast 2018 is not a positive one.

A Games without a vibrant bidding process is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth Games .

The Commonwealth Games deserves better.

Marketing, promotion and branding efforts require specific and focused attention.

It is an unacceptable situation .

The CGF and its membership must adopt a dynamic, proactive and forward thinking vision and strategic  approach to addressing the threat to the future of the Commonwealth Games.

Brian Lewis


Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association(TTCGA) and Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC)