SwimmingThe English are considered the first modern society to develop swimming as a sport. By 1837 swimming competitions were being held in London’s six artificial pools, these competitions were organized by the National Swimming Society in England. As the sport grew in popularity many more swimming pools were built, and when a new governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association of Great Britain, was organized in 1880, it numbered more than 300 member clubs.

In 1896, swimming became an Olympic sport for men with the 100 meters and 1500 meters freestyle competitions held in open water. Soon after, as swimming gained popularity, more freestyle events were included, followed by the backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and lastly, the individual medley.

For a variety of reasons, women were excluded from swimming in the first several Olympic Games. In 1896 and again in 1906, women could not participate because the developer of the modern games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, held firmly to the assumption, common in the Victorian era, that women were too frail to engage in competitive sports. It was only at the 1912 Games when women’s swimming made its debut at the prompting the International Olympic Committee. Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) is the international governing body for international competitive swimming. The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago is FINA’s associate in this country.

RugbyKnown more commonly as simply rugby, the sport developed in England in the 1800 as another form of football at Rugby School (a well known co-ed boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, UK). Contenders were allowed to uses their hands to carry the ball towards the goal. The game became popular outside the school system and several clubs sprung up all over England and in the colonies. 

In January 1871, 22 clubs gathered and formed the Rugby Football Union. The first international match, between England and Scotland was played in the same year; twenty players per side, 13 forwards, 3 half backs, 1 three quarter and three fullbacks. In 1886 the International Rugby Board (IRB) was formed. It currently has 96 full member Unions and 19 Associate members.

The Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union is full member union for this country since 1992.

SquashSquash is one of the many racket sports that developed from tennis. Players hit a squash ball against the walls in an enclosed four-wall room to gain points form their opponents.

Racket sports and fives (a sport similar to the modern day squash where players hit the ball with their bare hand or in a glove rather than using rackets or other sporting goods) were popular in schools in France and England in the 1800’s but it is Harrow’s school in England where the sport credits its modern game.

The school was the first to build specialized courts for match play and the students modified their rackets to accommodate the small area.

The World Squash Federation (WSF) is the governing body for international squash. It has been working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1986 to make squash part of the Olympic Games. It continues its bids for the London 2012 and the 2018 Olympics. The Trinidad and Tobago Squash Association is the governing body for quash in this country.

The Paralympics is a major international multi-sport games held immediately following the Olympic Games. Physically disabled athletes with Mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness and cerebral palsy, make up the body of the games.

The Paralympics have grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sport events by the early 21st century. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with able-bodied Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

There are also sports, such as track and Field athletics, that are resistant to Paralympians who wish to compete equally with able-bodied athletes, though there have been Paralympians who have participated in the Olympic Games. The Paralympics games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee. The Paralympic Committee of Trinidad and Tobago is the affiliate in this country.

SailingSailing is the art of controlling a vessel with large foils called sails. Through out history, sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization. The sport of sailing is one of the original sports of the first Olympiad in Athens 1896.

Known as Yachting up until 1996, the Sport has been included in each Olympic Games except 1904 St. Louis, Missouri. From its inception in Paris in October 1907, the governing body for the sport of sailing was known as the International Yacht Racing Union.

On 5 August 1996, the IYRU changed its name to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association (TTSA) is the ISAF affiliate in this country.

NetballNetball is Trinidad and Tobago’s most successful team sport at international level. The country placed first (joint with New Zealand) in the 1979 World Netball Championship, third in 1983, second in 1987 and is currently ranked 8th in the world (09/11/10).   commonwealth countries. In 1995 Netball became a "recognized" Olympic sport and one of IFNAs objectives is to ensure this status is retained and encourage the International Olympic Committee to include Netball in the Olympic Games Programme in the future.


Netball was included in the Commonwealth Games programme, for the first time, in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, where Australia took the Gold medal, New Zealand Silver and England the Bronze. It was also a programmed sport in 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where Australia again took the Gold medal, New Zealand Silver and Jamaica edging out England for the Bronze. 

Netball is now a core sport in the Commonwealth Games, with the next edition taking place in New Delhi, India where New Zealand will look to defend the title they won in Melbourne, Australia in 2006.