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Shocked and disappointed! Yorke condemns Jomo Pitt’s statement on Bacolet national stadium

“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.”

Photo: Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (centre) and goalkeeper Raymond van der Gouw prepare for action on day one of the BA Tobago Legends Football Tournament at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago on June 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

Photo: Tobago Sports Secretary Jomo Pitt.
(Courtesy TTOC)

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s javelin gold medalist 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)

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.

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59 comments

    • I don’t trust myself to respond to Jomo’s arrogant response to Yorke. Lemme take an hour first.
      Jomo Pitt, Dwight Yorke did his job on the football field for Trinidad and Tobago already. That’s why the stadium is named after him.
      Of course we would gratefully accept any help Dwight can offer but he more than did his part.
      You’re paid to do a job, Jomo. F***ing do it!
      And remember you’re a public servant and not a Lord. Google “servant” for tips.

  1. I recommend that the Auditor General performs a financial audit of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs books. Their balance sheet(s) probably has some questionable activities/entries and non-entries. I also recommend a review of the 5-year vision(s) & mission(s) of the Ministry of Sport and all programs, processes, and policies.

  2. Why are you surprised? This is the modus operandi of the PNM govt. These one-word responses have become the norm in Parliament, being used by Mr. Young (notably when asked about the number of police vehicles), Mr. Imbert, Dr. Rowley, Mr. Dillon, Shamfa, and as recent as last week – Mr. Anthony Garcia.

    It seems that the politicians believe that matters raised in Parliament are of their own private concern and not that of the public. This speaks of arrogance, ignorance, spite, and generally unbecoming behavior.

  3. Why is Dwight surprised? That is the culture he grew up in and nothing has changed since in Tobago. The doh care attitude is rampant over here and we’re now learning to live with it. I could write on FB all i want. Not a damn thing gets done so i go and do what i love best sit and chill on a beach.

  4. Just give the THA the authority to look after the DYS… why should the Min of Sport / SPORTT do that?? Totally unacceptable ! If they need a bulb they need Trinidad to come
    Change it! Smh!

  5. Minister of Sport is on Slam 100.5 now! tune in…

  6. Maybe that $8M could have been used to refurnished the stadium if only part thereof.

  7. Let them blame Trinidadians for mashing up the dy stadium too. I still can’t understand how an island like Tobago with under 100 thousand people can’t maintain a small stadium like that with the billions they get front central government and there other revenue sources. They may very well be more corrupt than the UNC.

  8. Not surprised. Most if not all of the stadia in this country need repairs of some sort, especially the lights.

  9. apparently…Cabinet has already approved a schedule of repairs to DWS and HCS and that this was known to the Assemblyman before he stood in response to Mr Duke’s question.
    The plot thickens…

  10. Sean I worked with the loc for the 2001 tournament and the opening game of the Larry gomes stadium the toilets were overflowing repairs were still being done etc

  11. I see this as more than a sports matter. In TnT we are poor practitioners when it comes to Facilities and Construction Management. The stadiums are in poor condtion, however so are bank buildings, schools and government buildings. We build today and have no maintenance nor preventative maintenance plan for tomorrow which is symbolic of lack of strategic planning. I watched South Korea play South Africa 2010 Women’s U17 WC at Dwight Yorke Stadium and informed the THA of numerous deferred maintenance projects that were easily visible. At that time they were more concerned about who was in VIP and informed me that its the Central Government responsibility. At that time the stadium was only 9 years old having been built for the 2001 Mens U17 WC

  12. I still can’t believe he said that! I don’t really follow Tobago politics but dam! Maybe he felt he was dissing Duke Even it he didn’t have an update he could have just said so and get back to them later. That was so disrespectful. None! Like saying “nutten fuh allyuh!” This is an elected official. He should be removed.

  13. I really Appreciate your comments Dwight

  14. Ok so why doesn’t he step in and help financially and stop talking

  15. I still can’t believe he said that! I don’t really follow Tobago politics but dam! Maybe he felt he was dissing Duke Even it he didn’t have an update he could have just said so and get back to them later. That was so disrespectful. None! Like saying nutten fuh allyuh. This is an elected official. He should be removed.

  16. Omar Glace our friend speaks out…..

  17. and we he speaks he have the gift of the “Gab” down pat eh this Daryl Smith steeeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  18. ..Successive administrations of both political stripes have presided over the deterioration of our sports infrastructure. Night football can now be played only at the crumbling Ato Boldon Stadium. The main sport in MSYA is Politics..

  19. For a big fellah, he has the Invisible Man routine down pat.

  20. And, as always, Darryl Smith is nowhere to be seen.

    • And before him, Brent Sancho and Spalk. Only talk.

    • And just imagine with all these mediocre Sports adminstrators. Sports ministers, bootleg coaches . runned down sports facilities, hardly any support from the public watching the pro league football eh, no monies to pay the pro players a decent salary for playing the beautiful game only my police and soldiers gets a proper salary each month eh,they beat up my second sweetest country that have everything that is needed to be always successful eh, from going to the World Cup 2018 in Russia , meh Father God must really be ah Trini eh. Them really good yes.

  21. Again it comes down to impotent and mediocre Sports Administration. Like dem fellas doh relly understand how important sports is to the fabric of society or wha? People does be talking about Sports Tourism and how Tobago ideal for dat, and yet still de people in charge just braying. Steups!

    • Nigel Myers its primarily talk, Tobago lacks the required facilities for proper sports tourism. I can point to one facility that is close to the required standard which is the Shaw Park Tennis Complex though they did not follow the recommendations to originally move basketball, netball and provide adequate parking. Though Tobago is ablento host ITF tournaments and does get an adequate tourism bounce it is much less than it could be if they had taken simple suggestions.

  22. Listen, listen..The use of the D.W. stadium has been politicised for decades..My info, subject to correction, is that a defeated UNC candidate from Tobago.. I have conducted/co-ordinated programmes at the DWS where we simply were not allowed to use the equipment..Fortunately we had our own..This virus has allowed for the degradation of the Ato Boldon stadium, the Arima Velodrome and now the Dwight Yorke..This reaction is good news but not new news..Additionally within the house of assembly there are layers/sections/ department heads , much like Trinidad , each with a different agenda..The port/the prisons/the education Ministries companies/the police ‘service’..Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago..

  23. Disappointing yes….but not surprised. Whenever you pose a question to any sport administrator in Trinidad & Tobago you get answers like that.
    We have become a nation of mimic men and opportunists.
    The relavant authorities has no skills on leadership and do not care about athletics.
    They are quick to take credit for success that none of them had made any contribution towards that success.
    An absolute comical affair this sport of athletics.

    • The “do not care” bit is the most relevant part!

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt your knowledge and wisdom is always on point eh. a bunch of bootleg sports ministers and administrators. Them really good yes.

    • If you ever attend a meeting of the sport administration you will see how immature and ignorant these ‘leaders’ are.
      If you pose a suggestion or question to them they consider you to be attacking them.
      It’s really sad to see.
      What do we expect?
      The National body has not taken up the crusade to get these stadiums refurbished because they are afraid of retribution from the Sports Ministry.
      Its an ego building effort when they are elected.
      To point out how incompetent they are take a look at their vision plan on their website. The plan expired in 2016 and since then they have no long term development plan.
      It befudfles me why they have not sat down with the Ministry to develop a plan for the stadiums. At Ato Boldon stadium the athletes run on concrete because the mondo surface has worn down and the lights only come on when the National football team is training.
      We have regressed so far it’s shameful. They don’t give a crap about the athletes. Their agenda is to get as many trips under their belt while still in pisition to do so.
      Shameful.

    • Tony Maxwell Hatt I wouldn’t waste my precious time attending any of those meetings nah, especially when I watch and read the madness that goes on in the politicians arena , perfect example of what we saw in the Tobago house with the fella fixing his tie and just to say none eh, I know for a fact this take place across the board in other parts eh it seems that all of them are cut from the same cloth eh. Them really good yes.

    • And before ah forget it is really a disgrace and shamefull to what the Arima Veladrome has become that was once was a wonder of the World eh with the state of the art Cycling track and football field steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

    • Sports maladministration killing out sports and frustrating players and fans alike #squarepegsinroundholes

  24. I’m glad Dwight used his position to speak out for Tobago athletes. This is precisely what we need from our sporting ambassadors.

    • I agree… what I have been saying though is that the Dwight Yorke stadium needs to be managed by the THA and not the Min of Sport/ SPORTT..