Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2014 Contents Friday, October 17, 2014 • Issue 161
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T&T is not a poor country. Just last
year we dropped $36 milli on a program
me that proposed to teach some guys
math and english. (Same guys who
failed math and english at high school
eh?) So when the head coach of one of
the premier national pastimes tweets a
post about his team needing help for
food, we have to ask some serious
Trinidad and Tobago Football Associa-
tion's (TTFA) women's coach, American na-
tive Randy Waldrum tweeted: "I need HELP!
T&T sent a team here last night with $500
total. No equipment such as balls, no trans-
portation from airport to hotel, nothing..." He
followed that up with: "I don't know how I'm
going to feed these players starting at lunch
today! If you know of anyone in Dallas area
that will help with food, etc."
Well here's the story.
Waldrum, who has agreed to get the sen-
ior national women's team (I refuse to call
big, hard-back women "Princesses", so I will
single-handedly change their name to the
"Soca Empresses") for free---until they qual-
ify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup,
to be held next summer in Canada.
The Empresses, coming off an unbeaten
campaign in August for the inaugural
Women's Caribbean Cup at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, were in
Texas for a pre-World Cup qualifying camp
in Dallas. Due to some visa and other issues,
the team had split up, and Waldrum had a
first batch of 11 women to settle into their
hotel accommodations. One small problem:
they were sent to the States with USD$500
cash, hastily scrambled together by a parent
and TTFA staffer just before the team de-
parted Piarco International Airport.
Now, tell me this thing. Is big women you
dealing with here, right?
How you going to send 11 big women on a
camp with TT$3169.94? That's less than
$300 a person. Don't include transit from
the airport to the hotel (which cost the team
US$250) and that drops the kitty to $156 a
Perhaps if, instead of working their butts
off to #rep868 they had chosen instead to
have been goontarettes, they would have at
least each got TT$2,500 from LifeSport,
which would have meant they would have
traveled with something like US$4,337.62.
We need to establish priorities in this
country. We need to stop playing games
Team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, in an
interview with www.Wired868 said: "How
will we make it? The same way we made
out for the last ten years. We're still going;
we still have that belief...
"I don't know what else to say. We are
going out there regardless of the situation.
The girls are hungry for success."
With matches against the USA, who are
expected to top Group A, Haiti and
Guatemala, T&T have a great chance of see-
ing their way to the Canada finals next year.
Despite the buoyant optimism building from
Waldrum's successful crowdfunding and the
overwhelming support of the Dallas and on-
line community, the Empresses have a
daunting task ahead of them.
"Our preparation was abysmal," said Attin-
Johnson. "It was what we didn't expect after
being champions of the Caribbean."
The team had been at a live-in camp,
courtesy Petrotrin, at one of their beach-
front properties in south-eastern Trinidad,
before departing for the sterner pretreat-
ing in Dallas. But this is after an 18-month
period of inactivity before the Caribbean
Cup. Rusty is not the word, since the core
of the team plays elite-level football either
in the US collegiate system or, in the case
of a couple players, at the pro level. But the
stakes are high.
"I am passionate about my players and in
making Trinidad and Tobago proud, and like
yourself, I understand the tremendous op-
portunity that lies before us," said Waldrum.
Are we taking our women seriously? Have
we done the best for this team? Are we
doing the best for TTO sport? How can we
fuel our high expectations on Ramen cup
soup and empty platitudes?
Raymond Tim Kee, TTFA president,
obliged Waldrum to issue a statement of
apology for the tweets that have led the
Empresses into this decisive round of foot-
ball. He, himself, however, have offered none
such---and none seems forthcoming. Tim
Kee, the mayor Port-of-Spain and the treas-
urer of the opposition People's National
Movement, has led the TTFA since 2012 and
had been given the post on a wave of
changes after former special advisor, Jack
Warner's ouster from FIFA. Since then Tim
Kee has not distinguished himself as either a
leader or financier. One has to reflect upon
the T&T men's team unforgettable adven-
ture two years ago at the Caribbean Cup,
when they were stranded in St Kitts and
Nevis and we will understand Waldrum's fi-
We have to demand change, or it will
never happen. Instead of wondering why
this Yankee coach begging for money bold-
face so, we should ask why does he have to
in the first place?
At press time, the Empresses were
preparing for an opener against the number
one ranked team in the world. Hopefully, the
challenge of putting on that red, white and
black kit would have strengthened the re-
solve of these women to overcome these
trying circumstances. Hope, however, doe
not have calories and can't pay for the mate-
rial needs of a team that has the clear poten-
tial to challenge the world. Remember the
2006 Soca Warriors in Germany? Well I do. I
want to plan a trip to Canada next summer:
me and the boys, hanging out with my sister
and nieces, and I would love to have the
added benefit of seeing the T&T senior
women kick some butt at the World Cup.
Talk nah Tim Kee?
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO SQUAD
Goalkeepers: 1. Kimika Forbes, 21. Tinesha Palmer; Defenders: 4. Rhea Belgrave, 5.
Arin King, 8. Afiya Matthias, 6. Khadidra Debessette, 2.Ayanna Russell, 20. Lauryn
Hutchinson; Midfielders: 9. Maylee Attin-Johnson (Captain), 10. Tasha St Louis, 14.
Karyn Forbes, 11. Janine Francois, 18. Khadisha Debessette, 15. Liana Hinds; Attack-
ers: 19. Kennya Cordner, 7. Dernelle Mascall, 3. Mariah Shade, 12. Ahkeela Mollon, 13.
Danielle Blair, 16. Brianna Ryce.
Now, tell me this thing. Is big women you dealing with here, right? How you
going to send 11 big women on a camp with TT$3169.94? That's less than $300
a person. Don't include transit from the airport to the hotel (which cost the
team US$250) and that drops the kitty to $156 a woman. Inexcusable."
T&T'S Mariah Shade challenges Nicole
Campbell-Green in the Caribbean Cup Final,
which T&T won 1-0 in August, at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, on a goal
from Shade. PHOTOS: ANTHONY HARRIS
Tasha St Louis collects the Caribbean Cup
top scorer trophy from TTFA president
Raymond Tim Kee.
The T&T Soca Empresses hoist the first regional level hardware for Caribbean women.
Mariah Shade collects her Caribbean Cup
MVP award from CFU executive member
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