Dear Editor: Only track and field produces local world champions; Govt funding should reflect this

“If you show the talent, commitment and determination to aspire to be the best in the world, then [the Government should ensure] there is a high-performance system in place to nurture your potential to be the best.”

Track coach Tony Hatt makes a case for increased State funding for track and field in Trinidad and Tobago:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago 4 x 400m gold medallists (from left to right) Lalonde Gordon, Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards and Jarrin Solomon pose on the podium during the victory ceremony at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on 13 August 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Glyn Kirk)

Track and field is the only major sport in Trinidad and Tobago that has put us on a podium on the world stage; other sports like cricket and football have never reached the celebrated status as world champions.

To my fellow coaches and athletes, what was achieved in London 2017 is momentous. We have put Trinidad and Tobago on the map as a high-performance nation with the talent to compete with the best nations of the world in athletics. What was once unthinkable has been achieved resoundingly.

Now it is time for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to make an announcement to increase funding in our high-performance system, which will demonstrate vision and commitment to sustain this level of high performance beyond London on to Tokyo and beyond—a true legacy of our athletics.

Most importantly, it will signal to our children and the future generation of Olympians and Paralympians that we are serious about high-performance sport in Trinidad and Tobago. And that, if you show the talent, commitment and determination to aspire to be the best in the world, then there is a high-performance system in place to nurture your potential to be the best.

The road to the Olympics can be an expensive one. Dedicating one’s life to excel in a sport without pay—not to mention the cost of coaches, equipment and living expenses—can be financially taxing. Since these athletes don’t get paid to train, they need to find the money to fund their dream while also paying their other bills.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s javelin gold medallist Akeem Stewart (centre) shares the podium with Canada’s Alister McQueen (left) and New Zealand’s Rory McSweeny during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on 9 September 2016.
(Copyright Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)

In addition to the Government funding, we need corporate and individual contributions. Many small business owners can take it upon themselves to help fund Olympic hopefuls, if only by providing part-time jobs in their stores.

For example, Bankers Insurance and Travel Plus Services in Trinidad provide runners with coaching, free running shoes and part-time jobs. This is just the beginning and there is room for more corporate citizens to get involved.

Big business can also get in on the act—as they do in Canada, where corporations support athletes in exchange for the right to use the Olympic symbols in their advertising. These companies include Hudson Bay Company, Bank of Nova Scotia and Labatt Beer Company.

I envision corporations like Massy, Republic Bank and others getting on board now in exchange for branding for the next three years.

Not every athlete is well-known enough to obtain direct corporate sponsorship, which provides them with funds to train. Lesser-known Olympians hoping to make their mark in sports history must rely on other sources of income or donations to keep their dream alive.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Adell Colthrust (right) beats Jamaica’s Kevon Stone to gold in the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games 100m final at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas on 20 July 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Following the success of the team in London, the government should make an exception to its spending rules and guarantee for the next four years funding for athletics and the infrastructure to enable schools to have coaches working with their aspiring athletes.

This funding commitment is important because there is a direct link between elite performance and participation in sport. We want our government to understand that one of the consequences of these London 2017 Games should be that our athletes triumph in Tokyo 2020 and future Olympic Games. Guaranteeing this funding will help ensure that happens.

As any coach will tell you, you must always review your game plan. We have been doing the same thing for 20 years; is this the best way to optimise the investment we are making while making sure we get results and remain competitive internationally?

One strategy that everyone seems to support is investment in younger athletes with podium potential five to eight years down the road.

I can argue that hearing our National Anthem played and seeing the “Red, White and Black” being hoisted while one of our own athletes is garlanded with a gold medal will bring us together; it will unite us.

And yes, we need to be united now to get there.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Jereem Richards (right) prepares to glide past United States’ Ameer Webb (left) and Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani-Brown in the 200m finals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on 10 August 2017.
Richards copped bronze in a photo-finish.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Jewel Samad)
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  1. I agree with increased funding for my brothers and sisters in the athletic fraternity, billions of dollars going to national security and it’s total failure . Shave $200 mill from that and invest in the sport from primary to secondary with yearly audit. We should also invest in a new jail just corrupted sport officials lol

  2. Sports with poorly performing senior teams should only receive funding for youth development programs. There must be an incentive for performance and not this fete match mentality. Stop padding teams with family and friends and pick the best. Prepare them to win. That is what international competition is about.

  3. we need corporate T&T to step up, not when they win, but assist in their development

  4. We all know that sport administration and the implementation of effective sporting programmes are non existent in our country. The wrong people are in the positions to hire.. that’s the fact. We should be doing much better even though we are small..we need a serious sports minister and a Prime minister who love sports and understands the impact sports can have domestically and internationally. It’s the greatest advertisement for our country.. it’s a powerful tool..

  5. Yeah that’s coming in one long blog from me towards the end of the year. Time to end the madness

    • food for thought .. the Australian institute for sports was formed the year [memory has slipped me of the exact year] the Australian team came home from the Olympics games with no medals… they took drastic measures to identify and fixed the problem ..trinidad sports is knee deep in filth and we all seam to know this but the drastic measures to fix are what we are afraid to do because it may crush on toes that we feel we owe through our partisan attitude …simple.. we fraid positive change ..cause most of us with no talent get favors to be administrators , national coaches, or national athletes based on the sport we are in …..why change ?? .when I can be mediocre and still get to the top administratively and even as a players [] athlete]

    • Christorpher Jackson Charles…. thank you….

  6. I still think the problem lies in the administration of sports in this country. We have all the facilities more than Jamaica or Grenada and yet our output from these facilities of world class beaters has been poor. Look at netball we have top notch facilities yet poor results. Have the association really sat down developed a ten program and bring it to the public show how they are going to achieve that goal how many school meets or games held throughout the country to show that they scouting? It’s always government have to give handouts. BTW you why cricket is so successful is because it’s at the grassroots level. An cricket is one of the most expensive sports out their. So if we serious about sports we need to stop the one side blame of government not doing enough. Our association are not doing enough prizes can be just a medal and certificate. Once you have a individual to watch then you start having clinics with them. Ask the cooperate community to sponsor them outside let them wear their logo.

  7. Wrong! Tnt has medals in weightlifting and swimming, both under funded in comparison! we need to fund the weak areas more to strengthen them and not to ignore it.

  8. Why does he have to “make a case”? Isn’t it obvious they need funding. Even if the government does not have the money they have the most leverage to engage the private sector in supporting our athletes.

  9. Also the thing many ppl whisper but hardly ever say out loud…why is it most of our athletes run their fastest times for the season here at nationals and dont come anywhere near to replicating these times abroad? It seems to happem quite often over the years.

  10. Like many islands, we have no system. Clubs have done ok but lately have not produced much. Most local coaching is poor. That means we are at the mercy of the US collegiate system, and that “fade away” you refer to is usually because after four years at University you’re a spent force. Jamaica figured that out and started keeping their stars at home. LOok at the results since 2005. We have 2 individual world champions. Both did little to no University running. Of our two Olympic champions, one also didn’t go the NCAA route. At UCLA I ran under 30 races for them in my career, and no indoors. That’s some school’s half a season. Jehue skipped the NCAA system altogether. Endorsements come to those who are the package, who are more than just athletes. If your manager doesn’t think your look and overall package matter to a potential company, you’ll never get anywhere near an endorsement for anything.

    • Does your manager even try though? Do they have the acumen and knowledge? And to my other question what funding do Jamaican athletes get from govt compared to ours? What do their medalists get if you know?

      Or is it that a good system…(that the ttcb have shown locally at times) can get great results despite funding.

  11. As long as keep riding this govt must fund sports (basically all of it) train we will be mired in mess and mediocrity.

    Btw how did Jamaica reach where it has? Govt funding?

    How have athletes on the African continent been so dominant in the longer distances? Govt funding?

    Just a ques.

    In England from what i read if your sport eh performing well sorry funding will decrease…and well their olympic medalists dont get a dime…thank you u made your country proud. Lol

    • But in England if you get a medal, the likelihood of lucrative private sector endorsements means you don’t need anything from the government.
      Here, multi-million dollar companies will take out a full page, colour ad saying “Well done” but wouldn’t give you a cent! Lol.

    • Government needs to do more to incentivize the private sector. Not sure what the solution is, but when soliciting contracts for services etc., they need to insert some sort of provision to “benefit the public good” as a condition.

    • Lasana Liburd what percentage of athletes from any country where medals are a norm get lucrative endorsements??? I am pretty certain it is a very low number

    • Track and field has always been a low paying sport…ask yourself how many track and field millionaires are there? Not many…

      Usain Bolt was my farrerr the highest paid ever…ever and he couldnt even crack the top 70 in earnings in sport in the year…even doh he was high up in endorsements

      How many olympians in track and field command endorsements above a million a year? 1? 2? 3?

    • Nigel, I’m not sure. But I am certain there are many many more ways you can leverage your Olympic medal in Britain than you can in Trinidad. Even if you were just getting a job teaching PE at a lucrative boarding school.

    • Yeah i am sure but again in terms of riches it will be few and far between

      As bad as it is here when our athletes do attain olympic medals they receive more than most do from their Governments.

      We dont have that many olympic and word medalists…what goes into the management of athletes and acquiring endorsement deals of varying levels? Maybe Ato Boldon can shed some light.

      I see Khalifa involved with flow but many others who may have accomplished more not getting the same. And of course we know endorsements are not just about success…there are a hell of a lot of variables.

      But do these athletes locally who achieve success maximise on their efforts?

      We love to fight ato but one of my major respects for him was his longevity and drive…most of our athletes spring up get a medal and fade away? Why? Why the lack of consistency?

      Ato was maybe top 3 to 5 for a decade? That doesnt come easy.

      Where are we failing holistically?

  12. Excellent column!

  13. JeRo Walli you guys are doing great work with your program.

  14. UTT is trying to bridge / marry academics and sports. There are several athletes in various sports availing themselves of this . The UTT athletes are coming up. Last Abilene meet several made themselves known by their performance. I see them in dragon boating and cricket. It may take some time before the program reaches world class status

  15. The Vietnamese tell us that’ a house leaks from the roof’, Even if one increases the funding absent organisation the results will not differ..For example we do not have a national technical director so who oversees coaching and interfaces with coaches at the development phase. Coaching skills such as diagnosis, teaching methods, evaluation are critical…Coaching education is ONE key area..Regardless of how much money is spent..Also we talk so much about funding the end, ‘elite’ product.

  16. I agree with increased funding for track and field athletes, but I think that other disciplines should also be allocated a fair shake since this lack of funding may be the reason for their under performance as well.There is just cause why if given the proper coaching and funds we could anticipate success in other disciplines, arguably it may not materialize overnight, but scouts should be on the lookout all the same. Check the abysmal performance of the highly touted Jamaicans.

  17. Equity first. Give All athletes the opportunity to grow. That philosophy might curb the next Dwight or Lara.

  18. Everyone wants the government to spend buttt they ain’t raising non for themselves not even a raffle.barbecue fete
    By now people who are fighting to run sporting body’s should have some idea how to raise funds all yr round and don’t wait on d budget every yr

  19. In Canada, the sporting organizations have to provide a Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF) which is an annual plan on how you are spending your money and what is required etc. After completing the assessment stage and submitting the plan the sporting organizations are provided with their assessment score which determines their planning reference level. Sporting organizations must use this planning reference level to develop an annual funding application for consideration to receive a financial contribution under the Sport Support Program. The financial amount is determined by the assessment score and recognition of the varying strengths and capacities of organizations. A very important part of the plan is that athletes are usually required to live and train in Canada. Funding assistance for athletes living and training outside Canada may be approved by Sport Canada, if justified by the NSO for academic or athletic reasons. So, they are very meticulous about athletes remaining in Canada to train. As for the carded system which is in place for the athletes, this funding can be very difficult to obtain and it’s not just awarded across the board. Track athletes must achieve performances that are superior to Olympic qualifying standards. Which makes it more realistic about what it takes to do well internationally.
    So as some of you have voiced opposition to the medal/carded system… it’s not as easy as it sounds.

  20. I actually don’t agree with this….at least saying that cricket doesn’t give the kind of prestige on a world stage. It’s quite the opposite, and unfortunately not a fair comparison since our cricketers fall under the West Indies or their respective CPL and IPL teams. We can’t really compare the performance of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team with any Trinidad and Tobago track team ‍♀️

    Based on individual performances, cricketers have done more for the country as opposed to track athletes (in terms of success, prestige and consistency). We have cricketers that are known as some of the best in their respective disciplines at the moment…can we say the same for track?

    How much of our athletes do we see have a successful Olympics and Worlds? Or even the smaller championships within a 4 year period? Who else had done this apart from Ato? Thompson arguably-ish.

    Our cricketers don’t even have the luxury of going to Foreign Universities where they’re exposed to modern technology and excellent facilities, yet they make way more of an impact.

    Not trying to take away from this year’s performance at the Worlds eh, but I’ll feel different when I start seeing consistency. ‍♀️

  21. Gov’t? What about the Private sector. Australia sports funding model should be adopted here. The Private Sector plays the critical role there.

  22. Medal based funding when all sports don’t have access to the same number of medals? How could that be fair? In a country that doesn’t provide the same quality or quantity (based on participation) of facilities across sports?
    There’s a reason non wealthy countries compete so well in track and field, and in particularly in the track events. It doesn’t cost much. People who have no shoes win Olympic medals.
    A sport like gymnastics… completely different story.
    Everybody’s talent is equally valuable and when there are so many variables among sports, including domestic cultural preference and age of the particular sport in the country, I can’t see how it’s fair to use medals as a means of determining funding.

  23. Good point Brian. Clock removes the subjectivity. I agree youth football is horrendous right now. Is 8-1 I saw Jamaica gave us this week?

  24. I think when I say the one or ones that perform should get the majority of the attention and funding sounds to some like ignore the others. That’s not what I am saying.

    • You agree with the British funding formula, which is medal based I think?

    • Exactly. Someone said track and field has been performing lately…not the case. With the exception of the 80s just about every decade our country’s sporting highlight is from that sport.

    • True. But then you gentlemen know more about funding for track and field than I do. I’m not too au courant of existing issues.
      I’d say on a whole, our governments clearly don’t understand sport. They still think it is past time that occasionally gives them a reason to put on something red.
      Sport is not part of our national philosphy and never has been in my opinion. Same for culture. To our detriment.
      But you and Tony make good cases for track and field.

    • When we have national athletes begging then we know something is wrong. We have a gold medal winner Akeem Stewart who won two gold medals recently in a world championship and he was begging for funds to travel and train. He was asking for $90,000 TT and it was only a month or so before was he able to secure the funds. His father built a throwing circle in Tobago so he could practice and learn his craft but at the same time one Minister is spending $94,000 on a two day jaunt to Tobago. Now you see where our priorities are. I am sure Akeen never received a house or a car or a millions dollars for winning two gold medals. Like I have said before the NAAATT can create a new position dealing with commercial, marketing, media experience, plus leading a small team to creating revenue-driven products, revenue generating sponsorship, exposure on networks and branding.
      But we are a nation of talkers, manipulators, mimic men and empty bags. We like it so.

    • How do we decide with sport within Track and Field gets the priority? Just the particular sport that medals? It is a wide range from sprints, distance to javelin, triple jump, decathalon etc.

    • Kendall, the British system looks at how many athletes get to the finals and rewards that specific event accordingly. The counter to that is if a Keshorn Walcott comes in a sport you don’t have a history of success in, he will struggle to get funding.
      So you weigh the pros and cons.
      And I think there are still more pros than cons to using that method.

    • I am not sure I agree at this point Lasana. If things were running smoothly, I might agree but considering our current position, I don’t think it is appropriate. And Keshorn didn’t just fall out of a mango tree. Peter can tell you of his achievements at the junior level as well as his trials and tribulations.

    • Kendall, I know all about Keshorn’s rise as I interviewed him in detail. What I’m saying is that because T&T didn’t have a record of success in javelin, he would receive less resources to compete there as compared to his peers in other sports.
      Now that might be the case anyway. But what I’m saying is the British system puts that down in black and white.

    • Kendall, Keshorn went from throwing a javelin for the first time to Trinidad champion in his age group in less than three months I think. And Caribbean champion right after that.
      In sporting terms, that is like falling out of a mango tree.

    • Walcott’s coach Ishmael Lopez was a big part of his success

    • Lasana – my point was that most people have no idea of his achievements prior to the Olympics. Your comment seemed in that vein hence the response. I didn’t remember the article otherwise I would have responded differently. My apologies.

  25. Time to get a foundation set up It is time that we give a little.

  26. Not just track all sports once you repesent at your best towards country

  27. track and field is not about big and small..Please read the following carefully..I am quoting Sr. Louis Roberto Reeves Garcia, then a technical director for NACAC the regional arm of the IAAF,. This was in 1992/1993.This was during a presentation at a Level 1..This was in an IAAF course, whose correct name is the Coaching Education Certification System..Mr.Reeves exact words were..back in 1992 /1993..’IN THE WORLD OF TRACK AND FIELD YOU ARE CONSIDERED A DEVELOPED NATION..YOU HAVE BEEN WINNING MEDALS AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 1948”. He was referring to Persons like Mc Donald, Bailey who was forced to run under a British flag, Cipriani, Mannie Ramjohn, Mottley, Roberts, Ian Morris, thora Best…We are NOT newcomers or a ‘small’ nation.

  28. My experience with sports administration in Trinidad is that is has been woefully short sighted and blatantly partisan for the most part. There aren’t many sports associations I would personally donate towards right now. Corporate sponsorship won’t come unless we are serious at the administrative level.

    • That is the major stumbling block.. I said…they bring no skills to sports administration.

    • But quick to insist that athletes be the best in the world. I say if Jereem is trying to be the best 400 metre runner in the world, then his coach should be trying to be the best coach in the world and same goes for team manager and everyone else.
      Otherwise eventually the boy would lash out at his staff failing him and people will rush to say he is “indisciplined!”

    • On that we definitely agree Tony.

    • If I am Brian Lara and practically re-inventing the boundaries in cricket… And the cook has a relatively simple job to do and can’t get it right… Should I toss chef and burnt plate of food out the window? Lol.

    • Lasana Liburd that is a good point. Jarrin Solomon lashed out in London about the inadequacies of the coaching and management. Some indicated that they had to go the Jamaican Puma rep to get shoes while coaches and management were sporting new shoes… tsk tsk …They went on to win the gold medal because the athletes banded together. We bring a band of incompetent administrators to a sport and it will remain as it is. Loaded with talent and opportunities but not capitalizing on those opportunities. The only qualification that I see them putting forward is that “I have been involved in athletics for the last 15 years”

  29. I have no confidence in the government taking the lead on this ongoing problem. We need to take the lead. We need to form an organization that will organize, develop, and implement a high-performance system that will accommodate effectively the nurturing, evolution, growth, maturation, expansion, and progress of our aspiring sportsmen and women. It does not matter how much money you commit, at the moment, we need to change now. Develop a proposal based off of proven programs and enhanced with ideas of our own. There are many successful and unsuccessful track & field programs against which we can benchmark our modus operandi. Benchmarking will definitely highlight our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and threats.

  30. For such a small nation we are really doing excellent in track and field .

  31. while I agree that sports athletes should be funded . I do not believe one sport should be treated differently from others case in point sure athletics track and field[ ]have been at the forefront recently but soccer ,cricket netball basketball just to name a few have world class potential persons who never realize their potential because of the Trinidad culture as it relates to certain sporting discipline ..also the coaches should be rewarded for their development of said world class athletes . which would make our home grown athletes stay home [.motivation ] we must also differentiate the world class athletes in all discipline and those with potential who’s development are 100% home grown through the efforts of the local world class study ato bolden world class status had very little to do with the country he represented ..while keshawn walcott had every thing to do with the country he represented

  32. Sigh… I hate this discussion about whose sport is better or more valuable than whose.
    To start with… the headline isn’t the most factually accurate… there are other sports that have produced world champions.
    Further to that… the number of medal or gold winning opportunities is not the same across sports.
    I have gone on ad nauseum about how nonsensical I think the current shape of state investment in football is. But on the other hand, if you consider the Olympics, there are literally only six medals to be won in football. That is not the case for track and field.
    So if there’s larger medal winning opportunity, should we not expect a larger number of medals?

    • Can you tell me what other sports have produced world champions from Trinidad?

    • Boxing. Swimming (George Bovell actually held a world record at some point). Those come to mind easily. If you want to count cricket you can cause Trinidad and Tobago can’t ever be world champs as we don’t compete internationally as Trinidad and Tobago.

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt netball, boxing , basketball trini nba players soccer , trini players playing in the best pro league s in the world , cricket trinis being a part of the ultra successful westindiest team of the 80’s and presently pruducing the best t20 cricketers in the world just to name a few all sports should be rewarded …all!!! alll!!!

    • Again …..we are missing the point….like the thin skinned people we are
      ..we are quick to defend but sparse on contributions…its our National pride that has us handcuffed….

    • The NAATT has lost a golden opportunity to tap into local sponsorship. The sport has the power to change our world and our future. This Olympic sponsor programme we are speaking about can be divided into three separate categories (Gold – $10,000/month); (Silver -$8,000/month); (Bronze – $5,000/month) designated for domestic sponsors aimed at enhancing the international competitiveness of Trinidad and Tobago athletes
      As we approach the upcoming events – Carifta Games in 2018; Commonwealth Games in 2018; Pan American Games in 2019; Olympic and Paralympic games in 2020 we need to do the groundwork now.
      We need local corporate organizations that can provide a lucrative and loyal sponsorship market for the sport of athletics. The local companies can offer sponsorship in return for branding their products or services as “Tokyo Bound with T and T”, letterheads, media launches etc. The money can be used to renovate the clubs and facilities where such athletes train, pay coaches, and provide other services that elite athletes need to compete at a high level.
      The NAAATT has 12 elected officers. I am confident that they can assemble a small committee amongst themselves to put together a Tokyo Fundraising committee. NAAATT can create a new position dealing with commercial, marketing, media experience, plus leading a small team to creating revenue-driven products, revenue generating sponsorship, exposure on networks and branding.
      But we are a nation of talkers, manipulators, mimic men and empty bags.

    • Team sports are a huge challenge to qualify for world champs and Olympics. Multiply cost factors by 20x or even more. And not all the top elite competitions have large subventions to get for participation at global games. That money is relatively small

    • Who is missing the point and who is thin skinned?

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt you asked a legit question and got factual reply . then you attack persons about being thin skin..notwithstanding some of your ideas for development are pretty good ..just save the thin skin retribution be bless

    • I was about to say that Chabeth. I have no doubt T & T would be multiple time T-20 champions if we were competing.

    • Read the article on the Express by Andre Baptiste about we being thin skinned regarding sports, athletes coaches etc. Maybe Lasana Liburd can pull it up as I am travelling. As soon as you criticize an administrator here about where the sport is heading their solution is to blacklist the athlete or sport.

    • Are you talking about people in this discussion? Or people in general?

    • No Chabeth Haynes…. I am concurring with Andre Baptiste… where his article related to non support of athletes ….and he mentioned about officials and administrators being think skinned towards critism.

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt ok got you on the thin skin topic hmmm .you got a point there . just thought you were talking about persons on this chat be bless

    • No attack Christorpher Jackson Charles… it’s a trait that Administrators of Sports have here in Trinidad and Tobago. They don’t allow athletes or coaches to offer opinions. If you do then you will be stepped on and kept in a corner. Over the last week many top athletes have come out and spoken about the sad situation we are in. That has never happened before so it’s a start. Keshorn was the first…then Jehue..then KellyAnn and Jarrin Soloman was openly discussing it on social media while the games were going on.

    • Yes. Sport administrators aren’t the best in this country. No right thinking person would disagree with that.

    • And therein lies a big part of the reason why corporate sponsorship is lacking Chabeth.

    • You have 12 Executive positions on the NAAA and none of them bring a skill set to the table regarding branding and marketing. I would think that before one is put
      into a position that the skills of that person be presented. Look at this opportunity to brand and market the gold medal performance. The NAAA has not come out and made a contribution as to how they are moving forward with this opportunity.
      If you go to their website you will see a plan and a vision that was written in 2012 … I believe that we are in the eight month of 2017.
      So when you have administrators who are not qualified to lead you end up like this.
      Always begging for money and not trying to find money through opportunity.

  33. i respect the concerns and views set out here…My position is that the government can only be guided by the federation,,This happens every time our athletes overcome insurmountable hurdles and then these calls re-occur. 2012..2014///2017.Ask ourselves what development programmes did the federation put in place since 2012? I do not expect the gov’t to take the lead ..They respond..Focus on what are the plans of the federation which tends to take these successes to validate the status quo..

  34. Thank you for bringing clarity Ato Boldon… we have reached the pinnacle in the sport …winning gold medals…. world #1 ranking….. give me another sport that reached those levels.
    We get carried away with sports and thinking that we are ‘world’s best’ in cricket and football…. think again.
    Track is the only sport that we have won gold medals.

  35. As long as all sports are seen as equals, there’ll be problems. As the headline says, one sport has performed consistently over our history. In other countries, THAT sport gets the most attention and money. Not so in TNT

    • You think it is a case of optics? In that football and cricket get large attendances and Govt feeds off the numbers rather than international success?

    • I think they generate the loudest buzz locally. Government is just like any other local entity, a bandwaggonist. They’ll hop on anything hot and ride it down the street, then hop off.

      • They set the tone, Nigel. Corporate T&T follows their lead: We’re right behind you after you’ve reached the top but don’t call up on your way up.

    • The advantage track has is that it is less subjective; either you can make the qualifying times or distances or heights or you can’t. The other Sports are mired in subjectivity and ego mania which consistently leads to failure. In my lifetime I have never seen worse performances from our national youth football teams. West Indies cricket is a joke. It’s all due to poor administration and everyone trying to stack teams with ‘their players’ instead of picking the best available players and coaches.

    • You hit the nail on the head …thank you

  36. All the policy is in place. The criteria has been set at least since the mid Naughties. The last government paid lip service to sport and allowed at least $350m of over a billion dollars [in budget allocations during their tenure] to be either spirited away or squandered. The present government has been taking a hands off approach to sport.
    But the policies are in place. NSOs are working at it. NAAAtt has been supported at a lot of the key niches for over a decade.
    What we need to see more of is getting it all to come together at the same time: corporate sponsorship. Mainstream media partnership. Successful professional elites. Fan support. GOTT support.
    When one leg collapses the whole thing collapses.

  37. Lasana Liburd, is it fair or fowl to state 99% of the track & field winners are trained or attend colleges in the US or Canada ?

    • I don’t know Eric. But I’d say there is a good chance that you’re right. Tony what do you think?

    • Yes i would concur. But remember that Jehue Gordon became a World Champion and never left Trinidad.
      Keshorn Walcott was the same.
      Athletes are given track scholarships to the US and they see it as an opportunity because they don’t have the support in Trinidad and Tobago.
      That’s why I am asking for support for local colleges to upgrade and provide opportunity for our young athletes.

    • Thanks Tony. Hence the reason I said 99%. The point is, T&T media, sports administrations and ministry never mention college attended by the athletes so other aspiring athletes will understand there is an academic expectation to get these opportunities. When you watch or read about US athletes they ALWAYS mention what college they were or are attending? There many young talented people in T&T but unfortunately many of them are not taught from elementary school that their academics will get them to exploit opportunities at the next levels. The story is yours to write Lasana Liburd !

  38. No athlete representing Trinidad and Tobago at any level of competition, should have to self fund their trip, either wholly or partially, to the competition.

  39. I agree , but Government should also determine where the potential for more medals can come from and invest there as well

  40. There must be a reward system in place also.the elite funding should be reviewed

  41. Ato Boldon, Sherdon Ifm Pierre, Emmanuel Callender… What do you think?

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