A review of the literature such as Coalter 1996, Coakley 2002, Nichols 2007, and Robbins 1996 et al points to several important factors that must be present for social sports programmes to have a positive impact on anti-social behaviour as well as aiding community development. These factors provide a framework to assess and evaluate the LifeSport Programme and Hoop of Life.

There is no doubting that the biggest losers of the cancellation of the well-intended LifeSport Programme have been taxpayers and the targeted group of young men. The Central Audit Committee report into the operation Ministry of Sport’s LifeSport Programme has stressed several financial and managerial discrepancies which must be addressed by the relevant authorities in a timely manner. The report findings point to grave wastage of scare financial resources. The young men who were in the programme must feel as though the carpet has been pulled from under their feet. It is difficult not to surmise that this is yet another example of where economically and socially disadvantaged persons are made to pay a heavy price for wanton mismanagement by those given the responsibility to deliver important social services to the public.

Conceptualising and theorising how social sporting programmes are to operate is critical not only to meeting their desired outcomes but equally important for identifying the correct tools to evaluate their effectiveness. Proper planning minimises the possibilities of wastage of financial resources whether private or public. It is very mindboggling that both the LifeSport Programme and the Hoop of Life were aimed to addressing the concerns of youth at risk yet still operated out of different ministries! Additionally, were there other ways in which these programmes could have be organized so as to utilise existing sporting structures such as the national basketball structure in the case of the Hoop of Life to yield greater success both in terms of the desired effects as well as the management of funds?

Research has shown that when emphasis is placed on developing skills and building social interaction as opposed to focusing on competition and aggression, there is a greater probability that sports can be effective in reducing youth crime and violence. Therefore, one has to ask the question as to whether or not the Hoop of Life basketball competition is being fully effective as it is a case of the winner gets the most. The winner gets $1.5millions dollars, 2nd place $500,000 and 3rd place $250, 000 and 4th $100.000. What happens to the other 56 teams? As a result of this the gaps between the communities would only widen and thereby defeat the purpose of the objectives of the programme.

A critical factor highlighted for the success of many social programmes have been where coaches, mentors, and role models have been trained in conflict resolution, dealing with sensitive issues relating to youth and ensuring that the goals of the programme are always pursued. It will be interesting to find out whether or not the coaches, mentors etc that have been used in the various social sporting programmes were trained as to how to effectively interact with the targeted audience. It is important to note that former national players and or just carrying the title of coach does not necessarily indicate that these persons can deal with the social and psychological issues that may be related to youth. Additionally, not all successful sports personnel may be good role models for those persons who are striving to correct deviant behaviour.

Social sporting programmes have shown to be effective when parents, schools and community members are part of either the decision making process and or the implementation process. This will however, depend on the size of the programme. Getting established sporting organisations for instance sporting clubs in communities to be part of the programme may provide a good starting point for the programme being effective. Additionally, it may serve to minimise some of the negative stigma that is attached to state programmes if they stand alone.

It is also very important to acknowledge that “one size fits all” approaches may not necessarily work. What may be good for one community may not necessarily work in another. If communities are to be hooked into the various programmes they have to be part of the decision making process. The youth have to have a say or else they will feel marginalised and see the programme as yet another way for adults to tell what is good for them!

As we move into the future, it is important that politicians, technocrats and whoever else end up making public decisions take into consideration the following issues. Firstly, social sporting programmes must be developed on evidence and possible solutions are practical. Secondly, programmes should be sustainable.

This is problematic when the state is the main benefactor, for when the government changes there is no guarantee the programme will continue and thirdly, rigorous evaluations must be undertaken to identify that factors that influence crime reduction, pro-social behaviour and change in young people.


In keeping with the National Sport Policy, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to providing financial assistance to outstanding athletes, in support of their preparation for, and participation in international competition.

The Policy that guides the EAAP provides financial support for nationals who have attained the qualifying international ranking determined by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC). These policy guidelines were developed through consultation with the TTOC, national sporting organisations and other co-opted interests.

As such, the EAAP speaks to:

  • Athletes who are world-ranked in individual sports
  • Those sports included in Olympic events and programmes
  • Athletes who medal at Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Senior Pan American Games and Senior Central American and Caribbean Games.

Funding is allocated under the following categories:

  • Athletes ranked in the World Top 15 positions will qualify for the current maximum sum of $250,000
  • Athletes ranked in the World Top 16-40 positions will benefit up to $187,500 (75% of the maximum sum)
  • Athletes who medal at the specific Games and Championships will benefit, on a case-by-case basis, from up to $75,000 (30% of the maximum sum)
  • The funding will be provided for athletes who undergo a four-year cycle of preparation and training leading up an Olympic year.

The funding is intended to meet the following expenses:

  • Training schedules
  • Coaching fees
  • Nutritional and medical expenses
  • Travel expenses for training
  • Travel expenses for sanctioned competitions and pre-Games tours
  • Accommodation for training
  • Professional expenses

France-based Darlene Ramdin led three players in double-figures as T&T’s “Calypso Spikers” crushed Jamaica in three sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-12) in the Women’s Division final of the 15th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (Cazova) Championship at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo, on Sunday.

The win for T&T led by first year head coach Nicholson Drakes was a historic one in many ways. It was achieved on home soil and led by captain Kelly-Anne Billingy after finishing third in 1993 and second in 2002 in tournaments won by Barbados.

In addition, the victory which came in 72 minutes was a record fifth straight (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014) to go past Barbados which won in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 as the teams with the most wins on the trot, while both teams now have the same amount of titles overall as well, six.

Barbados was also crowned champions in 1993 and 1994 while T&T got its first in 1996.

Bahamas with its victories in 1992 and 1995, and the now defunct Netherlands Antilles, which won the inaugural title in 1991 are the only other teams to have won.

For T&T, Ramdin who copped one of the “Best Spiker” awards had nine kills, three blocks and three kills in her 15 points output and she was well supported by fellow France-based starlet and ‘Best Spiker” awardee Channon Thompson with 12, inclusive of ten kills while Marisha Herbert added ten.

Thompson also collected the “Best Server” and “Most Valuable Player” of the tournament

The 31st world ranked “Calypso Spikers” dominated the Jamaica “Riddim Girlz” to lead 35-14 on spikes, 10-2 on blocks and 6-1 on service aces while committing only 20 errors to their opponent’s 24.

Chicago-born Jamaican captain, Simone Asque who has played professionally in Cyprus and Denmark had six points and Karenza Beckford, four in the loss.

The second placed finish was the third for Jamaica, having done so in a 1996 loss to T&T, and in 2004 to Barbados.

An elated Billingy speaking after yet another triumph for her team which is now unbeaten at the Cazova level since losing in the 2004 semifinals, said her team was happy to accomplish its goal of a record fifth straight title to equal Barbados with six titles overall.

“During the tournament I don’t think we played our best volleyball and tonight the girls really stepped it up a bit by saving their best for last.

Billingy also praised for the crowd support saying, “We are thankful for the extra energy they brought.

Drakes after capturing his maiden crown as coach said he was happy to see the improvement of the team from the first match to the final.

“As the tournament went along we had to make adjustments and tonight our serving, passing and blocking was at a level that we have come to expect, which made it difficult for Jamaica.”

Honour roll:

Best Spiker: Channon Thompson (T&T)

Best Spiker: Darlene Ramdin (T&T)

Best Opposite: Sandrina Hunsel (Suriname)

Best Receiver: Rheeza Grant (T&T)

Best Digger: Farahnaz Levens (Suriname)

Best Blocker: Shani Leacock (Barbados)

Best Blocker: Thonya Joseph (Barbados)

Best Setter: Cheryl Brunnings (Suriname)

Best Libero: Farahnaz Levens (Suriname)

Best Server: Channon Thompson (T&T)

Best Scorer: Sandrina Hunsel (Suriname)

Most Valuable Player: Channon Thompson (T&T)


His Holiness Pope Francis and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin deliver SIGA endorsement

31 January 2018; Rome, Italy: SIGA received messages of support from a number of high-profile and prominent leaders including His Holiness Pope Francis and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin at the third edition of the Sport Integrity Forum.

National female shot putter Cleopatra Borel continued her medal winning performances, striking gold at the World Challenge Meet in Brazil on Sunday.

Borel, who has been consistent this year, threw the shot put 18.29 metres to snatch the glory despite arriving at the hotel only 10 hours before the start of the meet.

Last month she secured silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland with a 18.52m throw.

Meanwhile last Friday, Deandra Daniel was fourth in the women’s high jump, clearing 1.73m at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships held in Kamloops, Canada. Alyxandria Treasure of Canada was first with 1.85m followed by American Shanay Briscoe (1.76) and Rebecca Haworth (1.76) of Canada. Also, Moriba Morian failed to qualify for the finals of the men 100m, finishing third in his heat in 10.57 seconds. Steve Waithe and Akeem Stewart captured silver and bronze respectively, though, Waithe was second in the triple jump with a distance of 15.94m behind Eric Sloan (16.20) of United States, Lathone Collie Minns of Bahamas was third with 15.86m.

Stewart settled for third place in the shot put with a 17.76m throw while Americans Willy Irwin (19.44) and Darrell Hill (18.85) were first and second respectively.

Mark London failed to secure a medal in the men’s 800 event, finishing seventh in the final after crossing the line in one minute 52.87 seconds. Mexican Bryan Martinez Sanchez won with a time of one minute 47.90 followed by Thomas Riva (1:48.19) of Canada and American Christopher Low (1:48.19) who were second and third respectively.


SIGA moves to implementation phase with robust organisational structure in place

31 January 2018; Rome: The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) General Assembly today ratified the election of Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros as CEO and elected the SIGA Council, as the coalition strengthened its operational structures and moved to a new implementation phase.


Cartan Global         Michael Johnson Performance