'Conglomerate of incompetence' - Boldon launches scathing attack on NAAATT

By July 18, 2018
Ato Boldon. Ato Boldon.

Outspoken Trinidad and Tobago coach Ato Boldon claimed he hopes to shame the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad Tobago (NAAATT) into action after what he believes has been several costly blunders.

Bolton, the decorated T&T sprinter turned coach, has been at odds with the NAAATT in recent times over the governing and administration of the sport.

“The only way to get things changed in Trinidad and Tobago is to shame people publicly,” Boldon said in a recent interview with SportsMax Zone.

“…A lot of people have had enough.  This is not just me saying something in relation to me.  This is not me trying to get a job,” Boldon added.

 “This is me saying the track and field fans of Trinidad and Tobago have had enough and while you guys pat yourselves on the back and tell us that everything is going well despite awful CARIFTA results despite one single finalist in Finland at the World U-20s that we have had enough and either you are going to change or we are going to change you.”

There has been some success for T&T athletes over the past few years at the senior level.  Most recently Jereem Richards won a bronze medal in the 200m and 4x400m relay gold at the 2017 World Championships.  At the Commonwealth Games, both Richards and female sprinter Michelle Lee-Ahye also claimed gold medals. 

The successes have, however, always been tempered with accusations of athletes lacking proper support and allegations of improper management.  Bolden expressed similar sentiments with his biggest gripe seeming to come from what he deems as a lack of continuity and accountability at the junior level.  The former athlete claimed for instance that the body continued to operate without a set structure for training relay teams for major games, despite being given a blueprint for success by the women’s team he coached in 2015.  The unit won the country’s only women’s relay medal in the event.  Boldon also accused the body of cronyism when it comes to team selection and the inability to achieve success at the junior level.

“It becomes a conglomerate of incompetence and round and round it goes.  I can show you for the last 10 to 12 years, dating back to 2007 at the world youth level, with the exception of Khalifa St Fort who get a silver medal in 2015 Trinidad and Tobago has not brought home a single medal from the U-18 World Championships. In that time Bahamas, Grenada have won several medals.”  

  

Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

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