Experienced sports administrator Diane Henderson became the first female and eleventh President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) at the historic first virtual election held on April 30th, 2022.

The election of officers took place after the conclusion of the 75th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Ms. Henderson won by a margin of 24 votes to 10 over the other contender Rowena Williams, with 70 percent of the vote.

“Thank you to the general council for entrusting me in leading the TTOC and taking on this new mantle. I am stoked and thrilled in demonstrating my leadership abilities to carry the organization into the new world of sport, innovation and commercialism,” she said.

“It would be remiss of me not to mention my predecessor, Mr. Brian Lewis, for his unstinting dedication and commitment to the TTOC/TTCGA/TTSBGA. Nothing has gone unnoticed. Thanks also to everyone who supported me throughout my sporting and other careers leading to this occasion. I look forward to working with each and every one of you, especially the new Executive Board” she added.

President Henderson has contributed significantly to sports governance, athlete welfare, strategic planning and sports mediation.

As Chair of Women in Sport Commission, she has been a key proponent for the continued push for Education in Sport in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ms. Henderson has a demonstrated history of working in sports management, being the first female on the executive board of the NAAA’s leaving a line of female executive members who contributed to its progress and has been an integral member and very instrumental in several aspects of development at the TTOC.

She is also the current Chairperson of the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon Committee where she has been responsible for the final decision-making on event coordination, developing race portals, social media upkeep, website coordination and private sector fundraising.

Ms. Henderson, who attained both an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTATT), has four decades of proven leadership at both Colfire and Angostura, where she left a legacy of health and wellness in their respective industries.

President Henderson will also serve as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA) and the Trinidad and Tobago Sand and Beach Games Association (TTSBGA).

Cricket West Indies has thanked Kieron Pollard for his service to the West Indies Men’s Team for the past fifteen years, including as captain of the One Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) teams since September 2019.

A women’s pair of Chauna Kelly and Petal Smith will depart Jamaica on Friday for the Dominican Republic where they will participate in the Beach World Championship Qualifiers from April 16-18, 2022.

Jamaica will play in Group A alongside Canada, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, El Salvador and Curacao. Group B comprises Cuba, Mexico, US Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and the Cayman Islands.

Each team will play in a round-robin format with the top two teams from each group advancing to the 2022 Beach Volleyball World Championship which will take place in Rome, Italy from June 7th to 19th, 2022.

Jamaica is resuming competition in beach volleyball after a two-year hiatus prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team will be accompanied by Coach Oneil Ebanks.

August 30, 2022 marks the start of Hero Caribbean Premier League and Trinidad & Tobago has been confirmed as one of the host locations for this season’s CPL. There will be eight matches played in Trinidad during September 12 – 18, with home team Trinbago Knight Riders taking part in four of those games.

 The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Community Development stated: “The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is excited to partner with the Hero Caribbean Premier League, and welcomes back the Biggest Party in Sport to the home of Carnival, as we host the 2022 edition of the Hero CPL. This opportunity serves as an investment into positioning Trinidad & Tobago as a regional leader in sports tourism, especially in this redefined sphere of sports events in the post-pandemic era. Live spectators are an essential element of sport, so fans are welcomed to return to the stands in support of their teams and favourite players. In T&T we continue to champion safe practices while having fun as all COVID-19 protocols would be adhered to during the games.”

 Trinidad & Tobago was the host for the Hero CPL in 2020 where the matches were played behind closed doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions now being relaxed in Trinidad and Tobago, the unique energy and excitement of cricket fans will come alive at all the matches, bringing a return to the fantastic atmosphere the tournament has missed over the previous two seasons.

 Eager fans can expect a favourable schedule, half of the matches will be at 10 am, offering great family entertainment with the Hero CPL planning to work with local schools and sports clubs to encourage young cricket fans and their families to attend. There will also be the traditional evening games, where the Trinbago Knight Riders will play all their matches. The home team will be looking to continue their excellent form when playing in front of their passionate fans.

 Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s CEO, said: “Trinidad & Tobago has been a huge part of the success of Hero CPL and we are delighted to be back for 2022. The atmosphere at venues in Trinidad has always been fantastic and we know that the fans will be hugely excited to be back at the Biggest Party in Sport.”

 

The field for the eight-team 2022 Concacaf W Championship is now set, as Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama clinched the final six berths following the results of the final matchday of W Qualifying on Tuesday.

Mexico are winners of Group A after downing Puerto Rico 6-0 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca, Mexico. Jacqueline Ovalle’s brace (13’, 51’), along with goals from Katty Martinez (15’), Myra Delgadillo (19’), Diana Ordonez (55’) and Maria Sanchez (90+1’) sealed the win for El Tricolor.

In the day’s other game in Group A, Suriname claimed a 5-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda at the Frank Essen Stadion in Paramaribo, Suriname. Van Ommeren Ravelcheny (27’), Andaya Lantveld (34’), Katoucha Patra (36’), Rowena Ondaan (68’) and Pique Naomi (90+4’) scored for the hosts, while Kai Jacobs (84’) tallied Antigua and Barbuda’s lone goal.

Costa Rica emerged as the top team in Group B after defeating Guatemala 5-0 at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Priscila Chinchilla (5’, 64’) scored a pair of goals and was joined on the scoresheet by Maria Salas (29’), Cristin Granados (52’) and Shirley Cruz (85’).

Saint Kitts and Nevis finished their qualifying campaign in Group B with a third straight win in a 6-0 final versus US Virgin Islands at Warner Park Football Stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Phoenetia Browne bagged a brace (77’, 90+3’), while Ellie Stokes (21’), Cloey Uddenberg (51’), Caroline Springer (57’) and Jahzara Claxton (65’) added scores.

Jamaica gave the home fans at the Sabina Park Stadium in Kingston a smile, as the Reggae Girlz captured Group C with a 5-1 win over the Dominican Republic. Khadija Shaw (79’, 90+3’) led the way with a brace, while Jody Brown (16’), Trudi Carter (40’) and Tiffany Cameron (60’) all added goals. Kathrynn Gonzalez (24’) scored for the Dominican Republic.

Bermuda also ended Group C on a positive note thanks to a 6-0 win over Grenada at the Dame Flora Duffy National Sports Centre in Hamilton, Bermuda. Leilanni Nesbeth (10’, 56’, 73’) notched a hat trick, Nia Christopher (23’, 88’) had a brace and Victoria Davis (78’) added a goal for the hosts.

Panama clinched their spot in the W Championship by virtue of their 2-0 victory against El Salvador at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City to clinch Group D. Second half scores from Yerenis De Leon (65’) and Karla Riley (78’) lifted the Canaleras to the three points.

Belize were 3-0 winners over Barbados to wrap up their play in Group D at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador. Jayda Brown (55’, 90+4’) had a brace, while Shendra Casimiro (38’) also got on the scoresheet.

Haiti continued to flex their scoring muscles and posted a 6-0 win versus Cuba to claim Group E at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Roselord Borgella (53’, 74’) finished as qualifying’s joint-top scorer with 11 goals thanks to a brace, while Nerilia Mondesir (23’), Melchie Dumornay (64’), Batcheba Louis (72’) and a Yarisleidy Mena (88’) own goal paved the way.

Honduras completed qualifying in Group E with a 2-1 triumph over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Goals from Honduras players Kendra Haylock (26’) and Gabriela Garcia (53’) sandwiched Denella Creese’s (45+2’) score for Vincy Heat.

A late score from Lauryn Hutchinson earned Trinidad and Tobago a dramatic 2-2 draw with Guyana to take the top spot in Group F at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Trinidad and Tobago. It looked like a brace from Guyana’s Sydney Cummings (45’, 82’) would outweigh Asha James’ goal (48’), but Hutchinson’s score in the 90’ delivered the W Championship-clinching draw for Trinidad and Tobago.

Nicaragua also enjoyed a winning finish to Group F by defeating Dominica 10-0 at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol in Managua. W Qualifying joint-top scorer Yessenia Flores (11 goals) scored four goals (2’, 19’, 31’, 53’), while Lilieth Rivera (14’), Jaclyn Gilday (25’), Reyna Hernandez (49’), Nathaly Silva (58’), Yorcelly Humphreys (71’) and Martha Silva (87’) also chipped in with scores.

 

Mexico remained in first place in Group A thanks to an 11-0 win over Anguilla at the Raymond E. Guishard Stadium in The Valley, Anguilla as action resumed in the 2022 Concacaf W Championship Qualifying on Saturday.

Alicia Cervantes (3’, 9’, 56’) had a hat trick, Diana Ordonez (57’, 68’) and Katty Martinez (73’, 89’) each had braces, while Maricarmen Reyes (15’), Sandra Mayor (39’), Casandra Montero Rodriguez (52’) and Jimena Lopez (63’) added their names to the scoresheet for El Tricolor.

Costa Rica got a massive performance from star FW Raquel Rodriguez, who scored a hat trick to power the Ticas to a 4-0 win against Curacao in Group B at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Francisa in Willemstad, Curacao.

Rodriguez scored her goals in the 22’, 28’ and 64’, while Priscila Chinchilla chipped in with a score in the 57’ to give Costa Rica a three-point advantage in the group standings.

Laurie Batista was the hero on the day for Panama with a hat trick to help her side march past Aruba 9-0 in Group D at the F.F.B Football Field in Belmopan, Belize.

Batista scored in the 8’, 19’ and 45’, in addition to a Marta Cox brace (44’, 64’) and goals from Karla Riley (30’), Kenia Rangel (34’), Erika Hernandez (55’) and Gabriela Leonards (68’), keeping the Canaleras atop the group.

Table toppers Haiti flexed their scoring muscles in a 21-0 victory against the British Virgin Islands in Group E at the A.O Shirley Recreation Ground in Road Town, BVI.

Batcheba Louis (33’, 39’, 42’, 58’, 89’) had five goals, Roselord Borgella (4’, 21’, 22’, 45’) recorded four goals, Melchie Dumornay (6’, 11’, 32’), Roseline Eloissaint (63’, 73’, 79’) and Mikerline Saintfelix (84’, 87’, 90’) all notched hat tricks to go along with a Kara Lewis own goal (8’) and scores from Nerilia Mondesir (51’) and Kethna Louis (77’).

Trinidad and Tobago are now atop Group F after posting a 13-0 win versus Turks and Caicos Islands at the TCIFA National Academy in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

Chelcy Ralph (6’, 17’, 82’) tallied a hat trick, Karyn Forbes (33’, 45’), May Matouk (49’, 66’) and Raenah Campbell (72’, 86’) each had braces, while Lauryn Hutchinson, Cecily Stoute, Liana Hinds and Maria-Frances Serrant all joined in on the scoresheet in the win.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago has named their team for the 2022 CARIFTA Swimming & Open Water Championships in Barbados this month.

The Championships will run from April 16-19 at the Barbados Aquatic Centre in Wildey, Christ Church while the open water 5k will take place in Carlisle Bay on April 20.

The team for the pool portion is as follows: Saphire Wong Chong-Achee (Female 11-12), Alejandro Agard, Marcus Alexander (Male 11-12), Zachary Anthony, Giovanni Rivas, Liam Carrington, Liam Roberts (Male 13-14), Nikoli Blackman, Johann-Matthew Matamoro, Zarek Wilson, Aaron Stuart (Male 15-17).

Blackman, Anthony and Carrington will also compete in the Open Water event while that team also includes Irmani Smith (Female 14-15), Zoe Anthony, Amelia Rajak and Jade Foncette (Female 16-18).

 

World-class cyclist Nicholas Paul and Olympian Tyra Gittens walked away with the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles at the 59th edition of the First Citizens Sports Awards in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.

T&T’s Olympic 4X400m metre relay team of Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and the late Deon Lendore, who won the Lytsra Lewis Award, were also recognized at the ceremony hosted by 2013 400m hurdles World Champion Jehue Gordon and aired on CNC3 Television in the twin-island republic.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman was crowned the Youth Sportsman of the Year 2021 for the consecutive year while tennis player Jordane Dookie was selected as the Youth Sportswoman of the Year 2021 title. Meanwhile, the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award went to The Tennis Association of Trinidad & Tobago for outstanding administrative work.

Overall, 46 of T&T’s top athletes were honoured during the ceremony for their outstanding achievements over the past year. The country’s Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe praised the awardees for what he described as their “unrelenting spirit, sense of pride and purpose, and the larger than life persona they exude every time they set out to represent the red, white and black.

“You are our true heroes, who serve as a symbol of hope, perseverance, courage and strength, not only to our youth but to our nation,” she said.

Chairman of the First Citizens Sports Foundation, Dr Terry Ali, echoed similar sentiments while adding that the Sports Foundation would continue with its collaborative work with key stakeholders to support the successful restart of sporting events in Trinidad and Tobago.

Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Citizens, expressed gratitude at being able to honour the country’s best athletes. “The First Citizens Sports Awards is yet another proud moment, not only for those being honoured but also for us, who have been privileged to uphold that responsibility of bestowing honour,” she said.

Among the youth finalists who received awards were Alan-Safar Ramoutar – Chess; Ryan D’Abreau – Cycling; Shakeem Mc Kay – Track & Field; Zara La Fleur – Chess; Janae De Gannes – Track & Field; and Natassia Baptiste – Volleyball.

Among the senior finalists were Nigel Paul – Boxing; Dylan Carter – Swimming; Andrew Lewis – Sailing; Teniel Campbell – Cycling; Kennya Cordner – Football; Felice Aisha Chow – Rowing, and Samantha Wallace – Netball.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors hammered Barbados 9-0 in an International Friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.

AEK Athens winger Levi Garcia got a hat-trick with goals in the 27th, 35th and 40th minutes. Ryan Telfer (29th, 60th) and Nicholas Dillon (68th, 78th) both got doubles while the other goals came from Reon Moore in the 80th minute and John-Paul Rochford in the 83rd.

This was the Soca Warriors first win since a 6-1 triumph over Montserrat in a CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifier in Fort Lauderdale in July 2021.

The game was the opener of the Courts Caribbean Classic contested between Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana from March 25-29.

The action continues on Sunday when Barbados oppose Guyana and ends on Tuesday with Trinidad and Tobago playing Guyana.

All matches will be played at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

 

Dwayne Bravo has signed for Worcestershire Rapids for the 2022 Vitality Blast season in a bid to win another T20 league title.

With players choosing to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) over representing their respective countries in Test cricket, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara is urging the International Cricket Council to take the necessary steps to address the vexing issue.

Over the past decade or so several West Indies players have dropped their ambitions of representing the West Indies at Test cricket for the IPL where they have earned millions of dollars. In more recent times, South Africa has been facing similar challenges.

Reports indicate that the Proteas could lose all their front line bowlers for the upcoming Tests against Bangladesh, increasing the prospect of Cricket South Africa fielding a much-weakened team for the series.

The situation has irked Lara, who played 131 Tests for the West Indies during which he scored 11,953 runs at a healthy average of 52.9. The Trinidadian believes a player’s country should take precedent.

“Playing for the country should come first,” said Lara, who is the strategic advisor and batting coach of the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

He was speaking during an interview with Sportstar when he also said Test cricket also provides chances for players to make a good living for players.

“Because I played for the West Indies, other opportunities opened up for me. It’s disappointing to see young cricketers leaving Test cricket. The ICC should come up with a rule stating a cricketer must play a certain number of games for his country before he can play in the Twenty20 leagues. Something needs to be done.”

Ever since Nicholas Pooran made his international debut against Pakistan in 2016, many admirers have been asking when will he suit up for Test cricket?

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo last Friday, the West Indies T20 vice-captain shed some light on how he feels about representing the region in the longest format of the game.

“Playing Test cricket is still in my plans, but as I say, everything happens at the right time. When it's my time to play Test cricket, I'm sure I will,” he said.

One way that Pooran could find his way into the West Indies Test team is by playing first-class cricket but that has proven to be logistically challenging.

“After the IPL finishes in May, West Indies have a few white-ball series, so I don't know when there's actually time for me to play first-class cricket or what the way forward is. It's a challenge,” he said.

“It's difficult, we don't really get much time off for ourselves. I believe there should be a compromise, but everyone sees it differently,” he added.

Since his debut in 2014, Pooran has only played five first-class matches with the last one being in December 2020 for the West Indies A against New Zealand A.

Pooran, who is set to represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), said he has already had conversations with Desmond Haynes, the lead selector for the West Indies men’s senior team about his red-ball prospects.

“We had a small conversation. It went well actually, so let's see what happens in the future. Going forward, it's a conversation I need to have with the selectors and coach,” he said.

 

 

Jamaica and Texas A&M sophomore Lamara Distin claimed the women’s Long Jump title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.

Distin, who set the NCAA’s leading mark and national indoor record last month, got the better of Trinidad and Tobago and Texas Longhorns jumper Tyra Gittens.  The Jamaican jumper equalled her best of 1.92 metres to win the event, with Gittens recording a season best of 1.89m to earn the silver medal.  Third place went to South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a mark of 1.86m.

Elsewhere, University of South Carolina’s Davonte Burnett claimed the men’s 60m title with a new personal best of 6.50.  The Jamaican finished ahead of Indiana’s Rikkol Brathwaite, who was second in 6.52, with Tennessee’s Favour Ashe third in 6.55.

In other events, Wayne Lawrence of Iowa finished 7th in the men’s 400m, an event won by North Carolina’s Randolph Ross and Texas Tech’s Vashaun Vascianna finished just outside the medal places in the men’s 60 MH, which was won by Florida State’s Trey Cunningham.

 

 

Trinidadian bodybuilder Dexter Simon continues to amaze.

On Sunday, two and a half years since he last competed, he finished in the top five of the Ajman IFBB Elite Pro in Dubai while competing against men 20 years younger.

Competing in the Men’s Physique Professional category, the 53-year-old phenomenon made the top five to advance to the final where he was also fifth.

No wonder he was proud of the work that he put in preparing for the competition.

“After two years and six months off the stage, this start of the 2022 season @ifbbelitepro_official in Dubai was unforgettable,” he said following his latest accomplishment.

“The seven months of preparation with a laser-sharp focus and daily sacrifices all paid off.”

Iran’s Mazinar Kiani took the top spot while Enrique Guitierrez from Spain finished as the runner up.  Balthan Haimour of Jordan was third.

Notwithstanding finishing outside the top three, Simon, who is still in Dubai, was more than satisfied with his showing.

“This is not an easy task at the age of 53 to make a top five amongst men 30-plus years younger,” he said. “My testimony is about self-care and self-love. Understanding that age is just what people say you are and not what you should allow being told you are or should be.”

He praised his twin brother Derrick, who was instrumental in helping him achieve his goal.

“A massive special thanks to my brother for his unwavering support with my daily training for the last seven months. I know you have become very familiar with Panadol, Olfen, and gels hahaha,” he said. “I could not have done this without you at all bro!! 

“So many days you helped me through some taxing workouts and made me uncomfortable until I became very comfortable to suffer and grow. Your words of advice and belief in me made the journey even better and the result even sweeter. Top 5 was your request and payment for your suffering and that is what I delivered. “

And delivered he did. Derrick told Sportsmax.TV that during the seven months, he changed some elements of Dexter’s nutritional regime and his overall preparation.

So what did he think of the outcome? “Excellent,” he said. “When he asked me to support him, I told him I would only help if he did the work to finish in the top five. When he came off the stage, he called me and said ‘you asked for top five, you got it.”

Simon will next compete at the IFBB Florida Classic from June 25-25 before he does the IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships in Barbados from July 27-August 1. He will then travel to Spain for the Arnold Classic from September 15-19.

In-form West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran smashed a whirlwind century for the Leatherback Giants in the ongoing Trinidad T10 Blast at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on Monday. Pooran smashed a 37-ball 101 not out in the 10-overs-a-side match to take the Giants to a comfortable nine-wicket victory.

Chasing 129 to win in 10 overs against the Scarlet Ibis Scorchers, Pooran’s blast ensured that the Giants raced to a comfortable win with 9 balls to spare. Kamil Pooran remained unbeaten at the other end with Nicholas on 20 off 11 balls.

Pooran’s century was studded with 10 massive sixes and six fours and came with a strike rate of 272.97. Batting first, the Scorchers posted 128-3 in 10 overs.

Scorchers opener Tion Webster top-scored with 54 off 26 balls with five sixes and four fours. Ewart Nicholson remained unbeaten on 42 off 16 balls with four sixes and three fours to be the next highest scorer.

Pooran’s effort ensured that this was the Giants’ first win of the tournament after three matches. They are currently fourth on the points table with 2 points from 3 matches. While the Scorchers are yet to win a single match and are right at the bottom of the table after three matches.

 

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