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Hasely Crawford facility manager resigns as six more SPORTT employees leave in March

The Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain will be in need of a new supervisor from next 1 April as facility manager Stephen Spence joined the exodus from the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT).

Spence, who joined SPORTT in 2011 and held his current portfolio for the last four and a half years, tendered his resignation today after successfully finding alternative employment. last December, Acting CEO Jason Williams advised all employees to find new jobs as the State-owned company continues to reel from financial shortfalls.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Under-20 Team trains at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 9 January, 2018.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

A decade ago, SPORTT had 200 employees on board. At present, there are barely 70 staff left—most on month-to-month contracts—with roughly two dozen departures within the last four months alone.

Earlier this week, SPORTT opted not to renew deals for sport development and performance officers Joel Gibbons, Jonathan Weekes and Nickola Johnson and labourers Adio Cyrus and Francis Lara. Gibbons is a former Trinidad and Tobago national youth footballer.

Accounting office Khrystal-Ann Blackman and Nadia Yearwood-Noel left SPORTT under similar circumstances in February.

Meanwhile, remaining employees have complained anonymously about poor working conditions, the psychological burden of their tenuous job security coupled with being short-staffed and the associated difficulties of monthly contracts, such as problems in accessing financial services like bank loans, mortgages or hire purchase.

SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine has not responded to Wired868’s requests for comment on the state of the company since he succeeded Michael Phillips in mid-2017.

Photo: Prime Minister Keith Rowley (centre) greets SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) looks on during the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba on 12 Ma, 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Last Christmas, Williams told staffers that “due to the continued uncertainty surrounding SPORTT’s future, the Company must be both fair and transparent and, as a result, must advise its employees to actively explore alternative employment.”

Spence, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from Jamaica’s University of Technology, has done just that. He follows facility manager Anthony Blake and senior manager facilities maintenance Raj Ramtahal—both were sacked in 2017—through the exit door to leave SPORTT again juggling resources to compensate for the haemorrhage.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. The structural integrity is questionable… that was proven by a report done some time ago.. so your suggestion is not a bad one! bulldozing it might not be a bad idea !

  2. Just bulldoze the stadium and make it huge parking lot

  3. Interesting that the relationship between Meier and Hewitt/APT reflects countless contracts of delays caused by the client which said client refuses to compensate or even acknowledge as part of the costs of compensation owed to both contractors/engineers and architects.

    In this same manner, government has on several occasions refuted even owing anyone any fees, and having paid off their due fees entirely. It’s almost as though all contractors have signed a silent memorandum of understanding that any ‚additional‘ fees arising out of the delay in any government project are to be carried wholly and solely by all contractors. What a way to deal!

    Oh this is in response to your article titled ‚I feel cheated‘ which I just read after this posted article.

  4. Years ago. ..before sports company was formed. .professional staff ran the facility. .then as mine of sports. ..then came sports company

  5. they had a sports facility mamanger?

  6. All these stadia are poorly maintained and in need of “dry docking “….Okay. .standard government policy Ask the users of the sea bridge. Question is how far behind is the Brian Lara Stadium. .or the Cycle drove. ..Or the Aquatic center? What you say.the last one won’t flood ?

  7. Is there a reason why a committee, just as is being done with Petrotrin, can’t be given the various facilities to manage for a period so we can see what/where the inefficiencies lie?
    We are hearing about so many issues but the buck keeps passing with no one being held accountable.

    • It’s very easy if u ask me… each municipal corporation should be charged with the responsibility of looking after the facilities in their jurisdiction… it’s not rocket science.. after serving as a Board member at SPORTT and having seen the figures attached to each facility, we pay way to much for : Security, Janitorial and Landscaping … the figures will blow your mind

    • Wired should drop an article on the ‘real’ costs in sport and this isn’t singling out one party. Every Sept/Oct we see million$ allocated to Sport but how much really reaches athletes and NSO’s???

    • Nicholas Lochan very good suggestion Nic.. let’s do this Lasana Liburd… would make for interesting reading 🤔🤔🙏🏽

    • You guys assumption is that those in charge care

    • May at least give the public, arm chair critics & Clubs/athletes clarity on ‘where/who’ stands on the ‘food chain’. Pro active NSO’s/Leagues/Athletes now know who else they competing against for funding and how much more work needed in membership/results etc.

    • 1st comment:
      Congratulations to Stephen Spence. He finaly left the rat race he was in. I have seen how hard and enthusiastic he was in his job. But I have also seen that his job was like a fight against a windmill. As soon as one blade (problem/request/etc.) had gone, the next blade was already coming down on him.

    • 2nd comment:
      Who will manage this stadium and all the other facilities now? Please don’t tell me Sportt Company. They don’t really exist anymore. And Sportt Company will be dissolved/terminated or transferred into a Sports Commission anyway soon.
      The question remains: Who will manage sport facilities in the future?
      Another Please don’t tell me. As long as the persons in charge have no clue about – and sorry – who still has a clue in Sportt Company – the facilities will be run down.
      We have a saying in our country: A cobbler should stick to his last.
      So as long as all these highly unqualified ministry staff (incl. the Minister), board of directors, executive managements, etc are allowed to interfere into the daily business of the facilites and think they can decide everything, the facilties will go down.

    • 3rd comment:
      Sport facilities must be run and managed as independent entities. Each facility has its own client base of clubs, churches, concerts, exhibitions, etc. Each facility must be able and allowed to make profit and generate revenue for its own. Each facility must be structured like a business based on economical requirements.
      Imran H Jan is right: It is no rocket science.
      But he is also right that the current costing structure is far, far out in the sky.
      But why is it like that? Because there is no structure in place. Because there is no one responsible. Because there is no accountable. Because, because, because…..
      AND: Because there is no maintenance program/structure in place.
      Because there was/is nobody who knows anything about maintenance.
      Imran H Jan, you rightly critizise the lack of the contractors to execute the maintenance.
      But it is also a bit short-viewed in my opinion. Did really anbody tell them what they have to do? I have met employees in the stadiums who did power was the main stands in two stadiums every second day. Is this normal?
      On the other hand I have been questioned and checked by security staff as if I was a criminal, even had to open my brief case, but 20 meters behind the security booth the fence was damaged and everybody could have entered the compound without even be seen by the security? When I refered the security to the damaged fence, the unbelievable response was that their job was only to check the visitors entering through the gate. The fence was not in their responsibility.
      I have made plenty of suggestions, but I also think it is talking against the wind.
      As long as politicians interfere and think they can do everything better, forget it.
      And whatever right now Minister Darryl Smith, the Ministry or Sportt Company are telling and promising is not worth anything. That is my personal experience.

  8. By the way are the lights back on? Haven’t actually seen them turned on and I’ve been there several times.

  9. Lasana Liburd I am surprised that the National Stadium has a facility manager. Last month I observed water overflowing outside the Stadium that you cannot miss. Is either you have to drive or walk through the water to enter or egress the venue. I don’t know how many months this has been so. Several athletic meets were held there this year with the water flowing like that.

  10. Don’t forget the lack of contractors to maintain the various sporting facilities across the country.. Like Hasely and Dwight Yorke in Tobago many will suffer the same fate (run down).

    It’s a sad state of affairs.


  11. The board will have to manage these facilities #jusasking