The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) plans to strengthen the technical capacity among officials accompanying national athletes at future staging of the Olympic Games by enlisting the services of a nutritionist said the organisation’s president Brian Lewis. “One of the areas I think we need to look at–because the Americas and all those big countries do it too–is the question of a sport nutritionist. You have to cover all the bases and that’s what the TTOC has always attempted to do and as I said it really tremendous to see the support the Ministry of Sport is giving to the holistic approach toward preparing and developing our elite level athletes,” he said.

Lewis was speaking at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Sport Psychology Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad on Dock Road in Port-of-Spain, which ended yesterday. The three-day event was hosted by the Ministry of Sport and Sanko-Fa HP (HyPower Performance) Sport and Performance Psychology. He said the introduction of a sport nutritionist was the logical step citing that this country’s Government and sporting administrators were on common ground with respect to the best way forward as it relates to the proper growth of athletes and the results they produce at home and abroad.

Lewis said the inclusion of a sport psychologist as part of the official away team was once thought of as being illogical, but today, such an expert has gained acceptance. Further to that, he said a gynaecologist, as well as sports medicine specialist now travel with the national team. Lewis’s views on the importance of sport nutritionists as part of any technical team was supported by senior United States sport psychologist and former associate director of that country’s Olympic Committee Dr Ross Flowers. He cited the importance of having proper nutrition for athletes both on and off season and especially during competition.

Flowers said he was always caused to chuckle when fast food giant Mc Donald’s is listed as a sponsor at the Olympic Games. Sharing his experience from the London 2012 Olympic Games, he said, “It’s open 24 hours a day. So at the Olympic Games you go to the dining hall. “You have all these different tables and meals set up and you decide if you should have the foods from different countries. And, in this huge corner there’s Mc Donald’s. I have a great time sitting at the cafeteria just watching and see all these athletes come up with trays–I’m not talking just like a burger, but a tray with a Big Mac, quarter pounder, fries, apple pie, shakes and I’m like: are you really gonna eat that? And you compete in twelve hours?”