While shot putter Cleopatra Borel is grateful for being the recipient of the T&T Olympic Committee’s Sportswoman of the Year honour for the second consecutive year, she wants to use her star power to tackle obesity locally. Speaking to the T&T Guardian at the post awards ceremony held at Theatre 1 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) on Frederick Street in Port-of-Spain on Monday, she said, “Your question actually speaks to one of my passions. I have a Masters (degree) in health promotions. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death across the globe. Going after kids… going after young people… getting people involved in sport–not just competitively–but to teach an active lifestyle…to teach healthy living…to teach a holistic way of living not just work and burning yourself out.”

Borel added, “I believe if we bring in the young people–the young kids–then the families will get involved, because kids don’t do anything without their parents involved and then we have a movement where we value our health in T&T. Sincerely that’s the most important thing that we have: being healthy and enjoying life. We live on a beautiful island. There is no excuse not to go outside.” She believed that the resurgence of community games especially in rural areas was vital to fighting the obesity scourge, while developing athletes. Borel said she was proof of a top athlete from the rural community of Mayaro. “Many times the opportunities that I had to compete against individuals—to see how good I was up against kids my age—came at community sports…employee sport programmes from my dad’s workplace from running the egg and spoon race to sack race. These are all really important to me. We have to go back to basics now, especially in this technological age.

I think it’s a really good idea to have community games. Build up to the games and have a community championship! Make it exciting!” she said. Borel added, “We have to bring people back outdoors. We are not outdoors as we used to be, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle. We live on an island. It’s sunny all year round. There is no reason why we cannot have a community beach volleyball tournament. Bring the people out to play.” Fielding questions on the role she believed sponsors could play in sustaining community sporting activities, she expressed optimism that companies were willing to give back to this country. “This is a great avenue where we can really see what the young people are made of and it’s a great place to establish your brand, establish your product and loyalty to your brand. I think at the community level, it’s really where things happen in T&T; in small villages across the island,” she said.

On the issue of women in sport and spiralling crime, Borel said, “I think that we have to empower women. Sport empowers women all the time. It’s a great way for us to teach our sisters how to stand up to the stresses of life here in T&T and just to do well, do better. Perhaps our crime solutions need to be led by women.” Commenting on the discipline needed to sustain success, she said, “The work that went in training was unbelievably punishing. It is unbelievable how much athletes have to go through and how much we do to perform well, while representing T&T. It’s nice to be recognised.”


Michel Platini will be the sole candidate in the 2015 UEFA Presidential election campaign, the governing body for European football has confirmed.

The Wednesday (December 24) deadline for submissions to run for President of UEFA has passsed with incumbent Platini the only candidate to put themself forward for the role as head of the organisation.

"Only one candidate has been announced: current UEFA President Michel Platini, who will be seeking a third four-year term of office from 2015 to 2019," a UEFA statement confirmed.

Platini was first elected for the post of UEFA President in January of 2007 and was re-elected for a second term in March of 2011.

The 59-year-old Frenchman, who made 72 international appearances and led his country to victory at the 1984 European Championships, and considered to be one of the greatest footballers following a career at Saint-Étienne and Juventus.

Platini had been widely expected to stand for the President of world governing body FIFA but announced earlier this year that he would not stand against Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fifth term.  

UEFA also announced the deadline for the positions up for election at the the European governing body's Congress in Vienna is January 24.

That is exactly two months before the Congress is due to take place in the Austrian capital on March 24.

"These remaining positions concern seven members of the UEFA Executive Committee," UEFA added.

"Also, the Vienna Congress will see the election of a FIFA vice-president, a FIFA vice-president representing the four British Associations, and a FIFA Executive Committee member."

The other eight Executive Committee members will be elected in 2016 after the European Championships in France.


Commonwealth 800 metres silver medallist succumbs to cancer

Olympian Benedict “The Rolls Royce” Cayenne has passed away.

Cayenne, who represented Trinidad and Tobago with distinction at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico, died on Saturday in the United States, losing his battle with cancer. The University of Maryland graduate was 70.

At the ‘68 Games, Cayenne advanced all the way to the men’s 800 metres final. He returned a time of one minute, 48.2 seconds to finish second in his first round heat. The Barrackpore-born half-miler clocked 1:46.8 for fourth spot in the opening semifinal. And in the championship race, he finished eighth in 1:54.3.

Cayenne’s close friend and Olympic teammate, Edwin Roberts remembers Cayenne’s battle with the high altitude of Mexico City.

“Benedict was always a great runner,” Roberts tells the Express. “He was very surprising when he went to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In the first round, when he finished, he fell down, and the guy came down and gave him oxygen. The second round, they came out and gave him oxygen. The third round, which was the final, they ran out there, but Benedict stood up. He didn’t have to get oxygen.”

In 1968, Cayenne became the first T&T athlete to reach an Olympic Games 800m final. No one has yet matched the feat.

Also in Mexico City, George Simon, Euric Bobb, Cayenne and Roberts combined for sixth spot in the men’s 4x400m relay.

Cayenne’s greatest achievement came at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland. He became T&T’s first Commonwealth Games 800m medallist, earning silver in 1:47.42. Again, this feat is still unmatched.

At the same Games, Melville Wong Shing, Cayenne, Kent Bernard and Roberts teamed up for 4x400m silver.

“The best race Benedict ran,” says Roberts, “is when he was in Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Games. He did very well there. He ran a very smart race – in the 800 and the 4x4.”

Cayenne also earned precious metal at the 1966 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He bagged bronze in the men’s 800m, and was part of the T&T team that secured 4x400m silver.

“Sad to say,” Roberts laments, “we will miss a great person. He got along very, very well with the athletes, and has lived a good life. He travelled with me all over Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Sweden... he used to go all over and run. Benedict’s career was a great career.”

In his younger days, Cayenne served T&T as a member of the police service.


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Sportswoman of the Year, Cleopatra Borel, has thrown her support behind TTOC president, Brian Lewis, as he attempts to undertake several new developmental initiatives in the coming year towards achieving his ultimatum of “10 Olympic Gold Medals by 2024.”

Delivering the feature address at the organisation’s annual award ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain, on Monday, Borel proudly aligned herself with Lewis’ plans.

According to Borel, such a goal is indeed achievable for the 1.4 million populated twin-island republic. The 31-year-old field athlete outlined five key steps to bolster the country’s future Olympic performances.

“The first step is to create a large pool of coaches, sport administrators, sport medicine personnel and support staff,” said Borel. “The staff ranging from volunteers to full-time professionals, will administer training programmes, keep our athletes injury free and provide other services athletes need to succeed.”

She added that the second step is to create a large pool of potential Olympic athletes. According to Borel, recruitment and talent identification by coaches is pivotal. Driving her point home, Borel reflected on the countless challenges she faced as an athlete coming out of Mayaro, where she was not afforded sporting opportunities.

“The next (third) step is to select our target Olympic events. This is necessary because it is quite challenging for any country to sponsor individuals in all Olympic events. This does not mean that we stop participating in a wide variety of events, but more resources must go towards targetted events. We must decide where we have the best chance to medal, and invest in those events,” she said.

Following her third revelation, the 2014 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medallist saw it crucial for the Government, TTOC, Ministry of Sport and the public to assist in providing the basic needs of athletes.

In conclusion, the Commonwealth Games silver receiver said that to produce these hopeful heightened successes, it is imperative that TT’s athletes have the fundamental tools to practice their sport.


TRINIDAD and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) head Brian Lewis has called for greater effort nationally in promoting and developing local sporting talent to redound to the benefit of the entire nation.

He made the call and promised the TTOC’s lead role in this goal while delivering the feature address at the Committee’s 17th annual national sports awards on Monday at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port-of-Spain.

At one of the marquee events on the local sporting calendar, the cream of the crop of local sports was honoured with shot put champion Cleopatra Borel and reigning Olympic javelin gold medalist Keshorn Walcott, leading the way in being announced the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, respectively.

Other athletes were honoured on the night for excelling in their respective sporting disciplines. Lewis spoke of the bountifulness of Trinidad and Tobago’s sporting talent. He said the TTOC must lead the way in championing the cause of developing sportsmen and women and maintaining sporting facilities as part of the design plan for nation building.

“The sheer talent, promise and potential of the nation’s youth and young people as represented by our athletes are simply breathtaking but you have to watch and pay close attention .

“In pursuit of their dream, in striving for excellence our Olympic and Commonwealth athletes endure punishing hours of training and the arduous task of endless repetition. Often their inspiration, dedication, resilience, commitment and self-discipline go unnoticed. Through Sport our talented sons and daughters break boundaries on the global platform that is the Olympic, Commonwealth and other multi-sport Games,” Lewis said.

He added that the TTOC remains indomitable and passionate in its belief that the goal of the Olympic movement to use sport to educate and serve young people is as relevant today as it was 2,000 plus years ago.

“One thing is certain, when we engage children and reach out to them to bring them to sport, we must ensure their inspirational role models our athletes, are at the centre of what we do and why we do what we do,” he said.

He reiterated the need to protect Olympic and Commonwealth sports from the “dangerous threat” posed by doping, gambling, the cycle of corruption and poor governance. “If we don’t face these challenges our right to self-regulate, our autonomy, legitimacy our stewardship will be taken away from us. To whom much is given much is expected.”

In this respect, he then proposed that TTOC will continue in 2015 to vigorously promote the adoption of good governance and ethics across the country’s Olympic and Commonwealth Sport movement and be unwavering in advocating and promoting a good governance code for sport.

“The TTOC must lead from the front in championing for the development of a sport industry. This will require not just lobbying and finger pointing but the articulation of the conceptual framework that will inform the policy debate. Our collective challenge is to take sport mainstream,” he said adding that in many instances, sport remains on the margins of TT society.

“The children, youth and young people of contemporary Trinidad and Tobago have a lot of different interests that present a threat to active sport and healthy lifestyles. The responsibility to create and shape a bright sustainable future for tomorrow’s athletes and for sport on the whole falls to our generation of sport leaders, administrators, athletes and coaches,” Lewis said.