“Yes, we won gold at the 4x400m at the last Worlds, our cricket team did a historic volte-face in the last Test match against England—setting all kinds of records in the process—and, with the help of an outstanding Cuban coach, we secured our second ever Olympic gold after 64 years at the highest level.
“Congrats to the individuals/teams. But remember I just wrote about the spasms and how these against-all-odds successes are used to justify the status quo.”
The following Letter to the Editor on the perceived ailing of Trinidad and Tobago sport and how to address that problem was submitted by Rae Samuel:
So we are once again at the sporting morgue. Another relative—this time from the football branch of the sporting family—has passed on.
The scene is distressingly familiar. Our kin was placed in the hands of an untested paramedic, hired by a could-not-really-care-less staff who seem to mistake our moans for prayers and votes of confidence. I speak on all sporting teams, not just football.
So we stand at the sporting bedside and, at every blink of an eye, muscle spasm or long drawn out sigh, we raise our hopes as the spin doctors loudly proclaim enhanced recovery is nigh. And then the inevitable, which we tried to ignore with eyes wide shut, occurs.
We are out of this tournament, we have lost this qualifier, we chose the wrong athletes, the Ministry did not come through with sufficient funds, we chose the wrong venue and that last goal was not offside…
The doctors of forensic sports medicine must be as giddy as their overworked comrades in Federation Park.
But much of what I have just written is old/new news. Yes, we won gold at the 4x400m at the last Worlds, our cricket team did a historic volte-face in the last Test match against England—setting all kinds of records in the process—and, with the help of an outstanding Cuban coach, we secured our second ever Olympic gold after 64 years at the highest level.
Congrats to the individuals/teams. But remember I just wrote about the spasms and how these against-all-odds successes are used to justify the status quo.
But I want us to move beyond that. Our Panama loss on Tuesday night put us in a World Cup canal from which we will not emerge. And I thank Panama for an act of mercy killing.
I want to suggest to us, the aggrieved relatives, that no miracle cure will come at the hands of these administrative spin doctors. That we, the sporting public, must begin to organise across all sporting disciplines. Not just as football, cricket, track and field, gymnastic fans but rather with the understanding that sport is a part of the national patrimony as much as oil, transportation, education, health.
We fund it directly or indirectly, we support it and they consistently fail us.
I am suggesting that groups within communities, sporting organisations and national bodies begin to meet and discuss issues. That is how the the Eddie Hart ground was prevented from becoming an indoor facility under the UNC-led administration. I covered that event.
Old, young, activists, seniors stood up to the then-all-powerful and arrogant Mr Anil R. There was no executive, no protocol, no boss man/woman in the first phases. That democratic leadership emerged because persons with particular skills gradually were given tasks and responsibilities through consensus.
So I am suggesting that people begin to meet, with the agenda being to find a way forward. We all imagine we can identify the problems so let us start the discussion and the process of building a unified approach in sport. We have social media where groups can report on what has been happening and then groups can widen contacts into wider units leading to a broad-based national formation.
But we need to put away the keyboards for a while and go into our workplaces, communities and social organisations…
…and take it from there.