Trinidad & Tobago hammers Martinique 8-2 to secure Futsal bronze at Caribbean Games

By Sports Desk July 05, 2022

Trinidad and Tobago hammered Martinique 8-2 on Sunday to secure the bronze medal in Men’s Futsal at the Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe.

Captain Che Benny carried the Trinidadians with five goals and two assists in the game played at the Palais des Sports du Gosier.

Cuba won the gold medal after a 6-2 win over Suriname while Guadeloupe came fifth after a 12-6 win over Curacao.

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  • Trinidadian Olympian swimmer Cherelle Thompson encourages athletes to seize the moment Trinidadian Olympian swimmer Cherelle Thompson encourages athletes to seize the moment

    Olympic swimmer Cherelle Thompson on Thursday encouraged Trinidadian athletes to seize the moment, as she spoke candidly about her struggles with injury, adapting to college life and trying to stay positive during the Covid19 pandemic during her feature address at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Annual Awards.

    Thompson, 30, represented Trinidad and Tobago in the women’s 50-metre freestyle event at the 2020 Olympics, which was held last year because of the pandemic. She is the national record holder in the women’s 50m freestyle for both the long course (50m) and short course (25m).

    Reflecting on her challenges, Thompson, a former student of the University of Tennessee, said “We all know the pursuit did not come without threat to the life of my dream. It was many years before I could make it onto the Olympic stage and time would not permit me to share the details of the chapters from that defining moment to the point where I would make it to the blocks in Tokyo.

    Faith also got her through dark times. “What I could say though is that it was a long, long road with many defining moments and it was only through reflection that these experiences, by the grace of God, I was able to find reasons to be grateful and wonder amidst the ashes of disappointment and difficulty.”

    Thompson said her first "last straw” was a shoulder injury which a surgeon said was “one of the worst they had ever seen.”

    On her experience studying in the USA while advancing her swimming career, Thompson said it was not a bed of roses. “I cried buckets of tears being homesick and (not) finding a way to adapt to the new demand of academics and athletics.”

    The adversity did not end there for Thompson. “The second shoulder injury came sometime after, then major disappointment and retirement (temporarily), sitting out for some time after missing out on Rio (Olympics) 2016."

    Covid19 had put the careers of athletes on pause and Thompson was no different.

    “Let’s fast forward to March 2020 to that time in history. Imagine what it would have felt like when the announcement came for the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games. I was set to begin medical school later that year and the world was in a state uncertainty with a glimmer of hope that things would improve for the games to be held 12 months later (in July/August 2021).”

    Thompson saw her dreams fading. “At this point I was convinced that I had no more straws. All I had was a dream in my heart and a passion for sport, and I placed that into God’s hands. The rest is history.”

    Thompson made her Olympic debut competing in her strongest event – the 50m freestyle – placing 41st overall with a time of 26.19 seconds.

    She urged all athletes to cherish every moment. “The question that none of us could answer is whether this would be our last competition, our last season, our last breath. All things considered, we know not what the future holds…take each opportunity to compete and engage in this thing called sport as a gift.”

    Looking ahead to 2023, Thompson said, “No matter the stage of our journey, may we all transition into 2023 with our minds fixed and fortified, our bodies prepared to fight, and in our hearts a posture of gratitude and wonder to seize each moment as it were our last.”

    Thompson also thanked retired two-time TT Olympic swimmer Sharntelle McLean for inspiring her.

  • Trinidadian Sprinter Jenna-Marie Thomas receives full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy Trinidadian Sprinter Jenna-Marie Thomas receives full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy

    Rising junior track athlete Jenna-Marie Thomas charts off to Geneva, Ohio, United States on Wednesday on a full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy.

    Thomas, 14, currently holds four NGC/NAAATT National Junior Championship titles having swept the girls’ U-15 60-metre hurdles, 200m, 300m hurdles and 400m events at the annual meet in July. There, she also earned U-17 shot put silver.

    The IG Fastlane Athletics Club sprinter/hurdler will continue her high school studies at SPIRE in grade ten and will focus on developing in the 200 and 400m sprints, as well as 100m and 400m hurdles.

    Thomas was pleased to secure the scholarship at such a young age and is intent on making the most of her budding athletic career. She leaves Holy Faith Convent, Couva to head to Ohio.

    “I attained this scholarship by displaying great potential on the track, and academically, which provided the opportunity for me to qualify and receive a full athletic scholarship.

    “Getting a scholarship at this age was unexpected; however, receiving one would have been part of my goals as an athlete. Some of my main goals and aspirations I would like to achieve while there are improving and excel in both sprint and hurdle events,” she said.

    Locally, she’s been coached by IG Fastlane’s Samuel Roach for the past seven years. Her hurdles coaches are Nataki Dasant, Heathcliffe Thorne, Aiesha Colthrust and Kern Alexis.

    Thomas also earned girls’ U-17 4x100m relay bronze at the Carifta Games in Jamaica earlier this year. She was fifth in the 400m final.

    Thomas also finished fourth in the women’s 400m event at the 2022 National Open Championships, clocking 57.89 seconds.

    Despite her experience on the track, Thomas said she was still a bit nervy to start school in the US. However, the speedster wants to embrace the opportunity and face the challenges head on, in pursuit of a successful athletic career.

    “I am bit anxious but mostly excited to study because of the new experiences. I think balancing school and sport would be quite similar to what I normally do just balancing a new environment would be a bit challenging in view of the fact that the climate is different to my home country.

    “I plan on approaching everything with a positive attitude in that way it will be one step closer to achieving my goals,” she added.

    Her personal bests are; 60m hurdles (9.53s), 100m (12.82s), 200m (25.90s), 100m hurdles (15.31s), 300m hurdles (44.89s), 400m (57.89s), 400m hurdles (1.05s), high jump (1.53m) and shot put (10.06m).

    Looking ahead, Thomas said she would like to spend most of her time working on the 400m hurdles.

     

  • Sportsmax to revive Caribbean High School Football Championship in January 2023 Sportsmax to revive Caribbean High School Football Championship in January 2023

    SportsMax is to re-introduce the staging of the Caribbean High School Football Championship between high school teams from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

    The competition will see St. Benedict and Fatima College of the Secondary School Football League (SSFL) in Trinidad and the two finalists from the Olivier Shield in the Inter-School Secondary Sports Association School Boy Football (ISSA SBF) competing for the coveted trophy in Kingston, Jamaica.

    The Caribbean High School Football Championship will be held in January 2023, with qualifying matches to be played on January 13.

    The action concludes on January 15 with the finals, where the teams with the most points or best goal average, compete for the championship title and the grand prize of US$10,000, courtesy of SportsMax.

    “I am extremely happy about the opportunity to bring the regional giants of Caribbean School Boy Football from the SSFL in Trinidad and from ISSA in Jamaica to a Caribbean final to see who will take home the trophy of the SBF Champions of the Caribbean,” said Nicolas Matthews, CEO of SportsMax.

    “As the leading sports content broadcaster and production house in the Caribbean, SportsMax will create a robust and extensive promotion for the Caribbean High School Football Championship. We will cover traditional and digital media in a calculated effort to have Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago’s schoolboy football achievements celebrated in the 60th year of their countries Independence, pushing the mantra that we are ONE Caribbean!”

    President of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, Keith Wellington was equally excited about the return of the competition.

     “ISSA is happy to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad through this match-up of our top schoolboy football teams,” he said.

    “Schoolboy football has been a favourite activity of both nations and this opportunity for regional interaction amongst our youths is priceless!”

    General Manager of Tiger Tanks Denis Latif title sponsors of the SSFL said he is keen on seeing how the competition plays out between the best schoolboy teams from both countries.

     “Tiger Tanks are pleased to be a part of the 'rekindling' of the rivalry between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

    “With both nations celebrating special anniversaries in 2022, it is only fitting that this is the beginning of many other things to come. Both countries, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, have always been vying for top honours in the Caribbean and with our football now getting back on stream I am very eager to see the hunger on the field.”

    With extensive coverage on multiple platforms, football fans will be able to access exciting football throughout the Caribbean and in the Diaspora through a wide array of broadcast platforms including SportsMax, SportsMax2, the SportsMax App and the SportsMax YouTube channel, sister station CEEN TV which broadcasts to the United States, United Kingdom and Canada and also on the web at www.ceen.tv.

    Viewers in the Diaspora will also be able to tune in on what promises to be a thrilling display of skill, school camaraderie and country pride.

    “SportsMax has broadcast both leagues over the last five years and we have seen the birth of so many class footballers, many of whom have gone on to the national and international stage,” said Matthews.

    “This final playoff is meant to endorse regional sports integration and also to reward our SBF athletes through their schools for the excellent work they have put in throughout the season. We are looking to organizing this playoff annually and to rotate it across countries and, in the long term, look to add other countries to be a part of the Caribbean play-off.”

    The initiative also aims to create synergy in sports at the high school level between arguably the two most successful football nations in the English-speaking Caribbean - Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – as well as increasing interest and viewership of the sport and athletes while exposing them to meaningful opportunities from all stakeholders, scouts, schools, clubs, the Diaspora and alumni communities.

    “I am tremendously elated to be part of the re-emergence of the Caribbean High School Football Championship between ISSA and SSFL,” said SSFL President Merere Gonzales.

    “Providing such a crucial platform for our student-athletes would certainly aid in the continued development and advancement of our youths in the region, allowing them, the opportunity to source football scholarships or professional contracts.” 

    The Caribbean High School Football Championship is slated to be an annual event and with the support of the high school associations and the sports ministries from both countries, we foresee the rise of the most-anticipated event in the youth sports calendar. 

    “SportsMax will continue its efforts to bring the Caribbean together through sports and entertainment and ensure that athletes and viewers in the Caribbean continue to see the best talents and with the best seats from the Home of Champions,” Matthews said.

    “We implore you to show country pride as we bring to you a synergy like no other.”

     

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