“It’s disappointing that […] athletes are now refusing to even go to the [Dwight Yorke Stadium] and are now forced to train in foreign countries.
“What to me was also very disappointing is that the individual who was put there in a position to represent in the best interest of the people of Tobago responded in a manner that was totally surprising. I think we all expected something better and the least [Tobago Sports Secretary] Jomo [Pitt] could have done was speak out a bit and explain exactly what the situation is at the moment.”
Former Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2006 captain and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke has criticised Tobago Sports Secretary Jomo Pitt, after the the latter official’s controversial response to a question in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) about the non-functional Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet and the THA’s plans for athletes on the island.
Pitt replied: “My response to the question posed? None.”
Yorke issued his statement on Pitt’s response through Advance Media:
To be quite honest, I was shocked at the response and I am disappointed that it’s been allowed to get to this point where access to lights, and proper gym and track facilities are not readily available.
The stadium as we all know is the premier facility for sport on the island and it is the only real facility for young athletes and footballers to train. This has been going on for some time, in terms of the conditions being unsuitable for these athletes and footballers to use, and it’s disappointing that we are still at that point; so much so that athletes are now refusing to even go to the venue and are now forced to train in foreign countries.
What to me was also very disappointing is that the individual who was put there in a position to represent in the best interest of the people of Tobago responded in a manner that was totally surprising. I think we all expected something better and the least Jomo could have done was speak out a bit and explain exactly what the situation is at the moment.
Tell us where we are at in terms of the current scenario and where we can expect to go from here with regards to the stadium. But instead of doing that, he took the easy way out.
I’ve had people speaking to me about it and it’s disheartening to hear the complaints because for a lot of the people on the island it is their only hope of trying to prepare themselves to achieve their fullest potential. And if you look at the records, the island continues to produce successful people. We’ve had track athletes from Tobago going on to represent the country and do well on the international stage at major events like the Olympics and World Championships.
Look at young Akeem Stewart for instance… a gold medalist who we should be ensuring receives everything he needs and instead he’s left having to go elsewhere to train. And the country, a twin-island, is Trinidad and Tobago. It’s not just about Tobago or Trinidad.
What I sincerely hope is that the relevant authorities take a serious look into the matter at present and find a way to solve the issues at hand.
I think it’s unfair that we have to put our young people and especially our international athletes through something like this and I am looking forward to see that the proper steps are taken by the people in charge to get the facility up to an acceptable state as it relates to usage for competitions, events and the various types of training.