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Monday 27 January 2020
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PM: TT lacks proper sports management

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

Photo by Marvin Hamilton
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Photo by Marvin Hamilton

THE Prime Minister said on Monday while TT has produced several successful athletes throughout the years, he believes the quality of local sports management has declined.

Dr Rowley was speaking at the official opening ceremony for the Home of Football in Balmain, Couva. The million-dollar facility is a result of an idea of TT Football Association president David John-Williams, FIFA funding and state land provided by the Government.

"Today, ladies and gentlemen," Rowley said, "if we are familiar with failure, it is in the area of management of our sports. We featured prominently in very many sports at the international level, led by volunteers, with far less resources than we have now.

"My friend Hasely Crawford is in here. He won an Olympic gold medal for TT. We had no stadium and we had no track – but he won it."

Crawford became TT's first Olympic medallist when he won the men's 100-metre final at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.

The PM said some of the world's best footballing talent was produced in TT, and he feels good that the facility has been completed.

"We do have, in our schools, as I speak to you now, we have boys and girls who are relying on the management of this sport – not the Government. The Government has played its part and the Government will continue to play its part.

"What is missing is the management we used to have, when people served for service's sake, and produced on it the talent that was waiting for that helping hand."

He said TT now has "absolutely no excuse," adding that the Government has contributed significantly to the development of sports.

"You would have heard the minister (Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe) speak about how many $100 million went into sport. You would have heard the minister speak about how much millions went into football.

"But you would also have heard the voices that say, 'Government ent doing nothing for sports, Government ent doing nothing for football.'"

He said taxpayers can expect a "dramatic improvement" and the full use of the new facility.

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