Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis called on national sporting organisations to update the way they run their organisations. He underlined that the TTOC will continue to advocate the adoption of new and proper governance structures for its affiliates.


Lewis was speaking at the 17th edition of the TTOC’s Annual Awards Ceremony at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) on Monday evening.


In his address that opened the 50-minute programme, Lewis said the TTOC and the country must engage children and young people and reach out to them to bring them to sport and show them the power of sport and the Olympic values.


“We must ensure that their inspirational role models, our athletes, are at the centre of what we do and why we do what we do,” he said. “Moreover, it is essential that we meet the integrity challenge by protecting Olympic and Commonwealth sports from the dangerous threat posed by doping, gambling, the cycle of corruption and poor governance.”


Lewis said if the sporting authorities failed to confront face these challenges, their right to self-regulate, their autonomy, legitimacy and stewardship “will be taken away from us. To whom much is given, much is expected.”


Lewis added that to start dealing with some of those concerns, the TTOC will continue in 2015 to “vigorously promote the adoption of good governance and ethics across the country’s Olympic and Commonwealth Sport movement and that we be unwavering and advocate and vigorously promote a good governance code for sport in T&T and ensure that affiliated NSOs align with the Olympic Charter and include in their constitutions basic universal principles of good governance.”


He added that the TTOC must lead from the front in championing the development of a sport industry and articulating a framework that will inform the sport policy debate.


While congratulating the successful sportsmen for the year, Lewis said sport was still on the margins of T&T society and had to compete with different interests that present a threat to healthy lifestyles.


“The responsibility to create and shape a bright sustainable future for tomorrow’s athletes and for sport on the whole falls to our generation of sport leaders, administrators, athletes and coaches. We have to modernise how we market, promote and brand Olympic and Commonwealth sport and the Olympic and Commonwealth values and ideals to the current and future generation of public, media and corporate audiences.


The climb is steep. The hurdles are high, “ Lewis stated


At her turn at the podium, TTOC Sportswoman of the Year Cleopatra delivered the feature address in which she stated Lewis’ and the TTOC’s 10 gold by 24 athlete welfare fund initiative was a realistic one once the country embarked on providing the funding, resources, technical support staff unit and environment for elite athletes now.

The career of up-and-coming wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran has been put on hold following injuries suffered in a motor car accident.
Pooran underwent surgery yesterday after suffering a fractured left ankle and a damaged left knee in an accident in St Mary’s, near his home in Couva. Pooran was returning home from training with the national team currently preparing for next week’s Nagico Super50 regional one-day series to be staged here.
“Terrible” was the way CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, former T&T and West Indies opening batsman Suruj Ragoonath described the setback for the left-handed strokemaker who burst onto the scene with a debut half-century for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament in 2013 as a 17 year-old.
“The situation is being monitored and our doctors are in touch with the doctor who is treating with Nicholas,” Ragoonath told the Express yesterday. He added: “The first priority is his general well-being and the second priority would be his cricket.”
Speaking briefly also yesterday, Pooran’s father Lawrence said his son was in “good spirits” ahead of the surgery. However, Pooran’s personal setback has also been a blow for the Red Force.
Already without regular wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin due to West Indies duty, the selectors yesterday called up Steven Katwaroo to replace Pooran.
“It is a huge steback,” said Ragoonath. “Nicholas is one of the most if not the most talented young players in the Caribbean. His career was very much on the launching pad. We are hoping that there is positive news coming out of the surgery.”
Chairman of the senior selection panel Alec Burns was more philosophical about the enforced change. “We have to move on from this unfortunate incident. Our chain is as strong as our weakest link,” he said. “We would bounce back.”
He was more concerned however, about the recovery of the precocious left-hander who further marked himself down as a player of the future when he stroke 143 out of a total of 208 in a losing cause against Australia at last year’s under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
“Having heard that news, it was quite devastating,” Burns said. “I immediately thought about myself when I was in an accident...We are hoping that he recovers quickly and gets healthy.” But Burns again expressed confidence in T&T’s reserve strength, noting that “young Katwaroo is an out and out keeper and he is a useful batsman, so hopefully we will be in good stead.”

NGC Red Force squad:
Rayad Emrit (Captain), Jason Mohammed (Vice-captain), Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Jeremy Solozano, Evin Lewis, Stephen Katwaroo, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Kevon Cooper.


Medal bonus that is performance based. Life skills Coaching. Preparing  our athletes for life after Olympic level sport.

Changing the culture is never easy or simple.

Getting support for Olympic athletes  in individual and team sports in an effort to allow them to achieve sustained competitive excellence is a vital priority.

But in doing so we must communicate the interests and protect the rights of athletes.

There are a number of areas that our athletes need to be better informed about these include anti-doping,  code of conduct, their right to due process.

Also important is assisting the athletes in recognizing their right to control and protect his or her own personal name, likeness and image.

As I have said before and made it very clear when the establishment of 10 Olympic Gold medals or more by 2024 (#10golds24) Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund was announced - we have to accept that our athletes dedicate the better part of their lives to fulfilling their dreams of representing their country be it at Olympics or otherwise. They overcome obstacles and pressure despite significant odds.

The central message  is that giving matters to our athletes.

Fundraising is essential and our athletes can’t do it on their own.

They need them to focus their attention on preparing to compete against the best  in the world.

Share the dream help our athletes achieve their dream .

There is a gap between perception and reality.

The perception that our athletes are well supported and that they make large sums of money or that the government support is enough and anything more is pure greed is furthest from the truth.

What the Athlete welfare fund is attempting to do is a long standing approach in countries  with a culture of philanthropy.

There is a reality and no amount of wishful thinking will change that reality.

We are at a point in Trinidad and Tobago sport where the option of doing nothing and letting false pride stand in the way of the athlete’s best interest is not a credible option.

Multiple revenue streams are necessary if the Olympic movement is to hedge against the volatility of depending on one revenue stream.

Doing nothing or doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a failed strategy.

The idea behind the 10 Olympic Gold medals by the year 2024 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund is simple- ESTABLISH a fund that is transparent, ethical , accountable, sustainable and dedicated to supporting athletes.

To pledge financial support email; or call 625 1285, Facebook: @trinidadandtobagoolympiccommittee, Twitter : @ttolympic

Brian Lewis


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) and Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA)

Editor's Note:  President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), Brian Lewis, has launched a new initiative with the social media handle, #10golds24, designed to give more of the country’s athletes the opportunity to fulfill their potential. He has committed to compete in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon on January 25, 2015 to raise awareness for  the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund and TTD$500,000 (£51,000/$79,000/€65,000).  The Fund's mission is geared towards alleviating financial hardships of  Olympic, Pan Am, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes to enable them to train, recover and compete.

Foreign-based T&T-born athletes Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung were named the T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) Senior Male and Female Players of the Year for 2014.

The announcements were made at Saturday’s annual awards ceremony hosted by the T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) at the Central Indoor Regional Sports Arena at Saith Park in Chaguanas on Saturday.

St Louis secured a bronze for T&T at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mexico, while Chung secured similar accolades at the Women’s singles, Pan American Sport Festival, Mexico City, Mexico in July; the Women’s Singles, International Table-Tennis Federation (ITTF) Latin American Championships, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (April).

Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson, 16, of Carenage Blasters and Brittany Joseph, 16 of Arima Hawks were named Junior Male and Female Players of the Year. It was reputed to be Joseph’s third Junior Players of the Year Award.

Interviewed, she said, “It’s shocking because I didn’t have such a good year this year. I wasn’t able to win as much prizes as I aimed for, but I was still able to achieve one or two of my goals.”

Wilson said his love of table tennis emerged when he realised that contact sports was not for him and he realised it was “a lot of fun to play.”

Reeza Burke, out-going president of the association said one of the major achievements for his executive was ensuring that “the mantle for representation of our national players on the senior team, being handed over to younger, more talented players. We know that in terms of long term development we are on the right track. Our focus on youth development over that past four years, have reaped rewards not only on the national scene, but also in the Caribbean. In term of challenges”


Former national boxer Giselle Salandy was remembered with a luncheon at Mau Pau, Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Salandy, who died six years ago in a vehicular accident near to NP on the Beetham Highway, will be honoured in a world title fight in March or April.

Buxo Potts, special advisor to the T&T Boxing Board of Control (T&TBBC), who also trained and managed Salandy said: “It is a bitter sweet moment, it is bitter because our iconic figure Giselle Salandy is not here with us, gone too soon at a young age. But it is sweet to know we could celebrate her life and times. She died six years ago and today Mau Pau has decided to have a luncheon in memory of her and to launch a fight.

“We will have a fight in honour of her in her hometown. Miss Lorissa Rivas (T&T) will be contesting Mikaela Laurens of Sweden for a title. It is the super welterweight divison. We are very pleased to have such a high accolade in boxing right here in her homeland. This fight is going be in late March or early April. We still await a date but the fighters are ready.”

Owner of Superior Promotions Harry Ragoonanan, who was the promoter of Salandy’s 2007 world title fight also paid tribute to the former champion.

“Today is a very special day for us in that we remember the life and times of Giselle Salandy who passed away six years ago yesterday (Sunday). In honour of her I am very happy to see we are getting a world title fight.

Ragoonanan stated that Salandy never got the opportunity to reach her full potential. “This country has never seen the full strength of Giselle Salandy and what she was capable off. She died too soon. The country missed out on what she really had to offer. I am very happy that we could remember such a great champion and she has been recognised by boxing associations all over the world.”

Neale Greaves, a director on the T&TBBC called for support. Greaves said: “We are looking forward to a world title fight. We are calling on all corporate sponsors, we are calling on the Government of T&T, we are callling all boxing enthusiasts to come out and give us that support. This is an international event and we welcome everyone on board.”

Potts sent a strong message to the young people of the country to live responsible lifes. “Take responsibility for what goes inside of you. Do not drink and drive, do not drive tired.

“I am not saying she (Salandy) used drugs, I am not saying she was drinking and driving but I believe she was tired and this may have caused her untimely death.”


Ephraim Serrette, president of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) says his Federation will accept no blame for the absence of athletes honoured at the December 29, 2014 T&T Olympic Committee Annual Awards ceremony.

Of the six awards presented on the night, track and field athletes took the lions’ share at the ceremony held at Theatre 1 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, but only one winner–shot putter Cleopatra Borel–was in attendance to accept the Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Carifta gold medallist Machel Cedenio was the Junior Sportsman of the Year, while sprinter Aaliyah Telesford emerged as the Junior Sportswoman of the Year. Serrette took the spotlight to receive their awards.

London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Keshorn Walcott was named Sportsman of the Year at the TTOC ceremony, but like Cedenio and Telesford, he (Walcott) was absent.

His manager Sean Roach accepted the award and apologised for Walcott’s absence.

He said, “He’s actually in the stadium training and getting ready for the 2015 season. But I’m pretty sure if he was here today, he would be very happy and honoured with this award. I know he would have liked to thank his teammate Cleo (Cleopatra Borel) who is always there giving him the inspiration he needs to move forward, his coach and his team that supports him, as well as you guys for cheering him on every time that he goes out there.”

Serrette refused to comment on Roach’s statement that Walcott was on local shores, but chose to attend a training session, instead.

The T&T Guardian learnt that on the day of the awards ceremony Borel also trained–twice, around 7 am and close to 3 pm.

Serrette, “It was not an awards of the Federation and it was up to the Olympic Committee to contact the Federation to find out if individuals are present in the country and that they could get invited or not. It is not a fault of the Federation. In the Federation’s awards function, all the athletes who have been nominated for awards are written to. They are informed. They are also asked to indicate whether they will be present or not. It is not a fault of the Federation. It is a flaw of the Olympic Committee,” he said.

The NAAA official added, “I attended (the awards) and I had no idea who the recipients were. When they indicated Aaliyah Telesford was Junior Sportswoman of the Year that was news to me. I would have had some idea that Machel Cedenio would have been a contender for the Junior Male. Cleopatra was a foregone conclusion. I wasn’t sure if she wasn’t the feature speaker, if she would have been present either.”

TTOC president Brian Lewis said he did not considered Walcott’s decision to attend a training session timed simultaneously with the hosting of the awards ceremony as a slap in the face of the Olympic Committee.

“Of course not! I can say that Keshorn always appears at our functions. The TTOC relationship with Keshorn is a close one. I am going to ensure that our communication processes would be significantly reviewed. The TTOC let down a lot of our stakeholders in the issuing of invitations. As president I take full responsibility. The invitation and communication processes would be improved in 2015,” he said.

Commenting on track and field’s dominance at the TTOC awards, Serrette said, “It’s not the first time that track and field has been rewarded in a particular year for performances. It’s not the first time that track and field has dominated the awards. It augurs well for our sport.”

He said: “As a federation, we recognise what is required. We cannot have track and field events without athletes. We cannot have track and field events without technical officials. We cannot have track and field events without a Federation. The key is to have that synergy among all these parts. We all have to be there to assist athletes; athletes working with the Federation to understand what are our challenges and what we are trying to do and vice versa. I would even go are far as the parents. In Cleo’s (Cleopatra Borel) speech, she mentioned the need for support. It’s a challenge. It’s a non-paying job, but you do it for your country and we just have to continue doing what we need to do.”