Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2015 Contents A36
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 1, 2015
Popular as a means of transport,
a leisure activity and as a compet-
itive sport, cycling should be nur-
tured in all its forms and at all levels.
However, the successful integration
of everyday and sporting cycling is
not always a priority of major national
Earlier this autumn we reported
on British Cycling s successful advo-
cacy policies. Now we turn our atten-
tion to T&T, former British territory
and little sport powerhouse, especially
in track and field (14 medals at the
For the moment, cycling lags
behind on these twin islands. Great
Britain has won 75 Olympic cycling
medals, while T&T has not won a
medal to date. Though at London
2012 the national star Njisane Phillip
finished fourth in the individual
Great Britain has 79 International
Cycling Union sanctioned events
annually, while T&T hosts three
events (one road, two track).
But the two Federations have a
shared vision: improving conditions
for all cyclists. It does not necessarily
take a Sir Chris Hoy to campaign for
Since last November the T&T
Cycling Federation (TTCF) has a new
president, Robert Farrier. Two issues
seem to be high on his agenda: sport
development and cycling for all.
As is often the case, the two are
intertwined. The new leadership is
looking into nurturing a new gener-
ation of endurance roadies, in a coun-
try of natural born sprinters. But to
do so, safe streets are one of the pri-
orities in this country that recently
mourned the loss of former national
cyclist and coach Clinton Grant who
was struck by a car when out rid-
TTCF is strengthening its partner-
ships with a number of stakeholders
in the transport sector---namely the
(NGOs) "Arrive Alive" and "Share
the Road", the Ministry of Transport
and the Police.
"Safer roads for cyclists is nothing
one organisation can solve, everyone
must work together, educate drivers
and enforce the laws.
Many drivers are not aware that
one lane is for cyclists" says former
national cyclist Gene Samuel.
The Ministry of Transport, which
declares itself "fully cognisant of the
contribution of the transportation
sector to the country s carbon foot-
print" is increasingly looking at active
and sustainable transport as an
important component of the trans-
Cycling is a part of it, provided
that the Police enforces the rules and
educates drivers with the aim of pro-
tecting the most vulnerable road
The country s high obesity rates
(30 per cent according to the World
Health Organisation) is another social
problem that more active transport
could help tackle.
Farrier has a regional best practice
to take inspiration from: Guadeloupe,
where first-class bike paths provide
locals and tourists with a popular
In addition, a major breakthrough
is set to change the cycling landscape
of the country in the very near future:
the inauguration of the National
Cycling Centre, which will include a
Managed by SporTT, a subsidiary
of the Ministry of Sport in charge of
facility building and management,
this top-notch sport infrastructure
will bring top cyclists from the region
to train and race in T&T.
"We will talk to SporTT to bring
top cyclists here to set up camps and
so on in winter time" added Farrier.
"It attracts competition. It will be a
plus for us and them."
The country is home to the sole
UCI-sanctioned event in the
Caribbean, the Tobago International
Cycling Classic, now at its 28th edi-
While realistic concerning the
event s current status, Jeff Charles---
long-standing event chairman and
promoter---sees the potential for the
creation of a sporting tourism avenue
in the islands.
Cycle-tourism, road safety, bike
infrastructure, events, cross-sectoral
work: TTCF (which has no paid staff)
is a scale-drawing of what a NF with
a vision should be. (www.uci.ch/)
Road safety for cyclists in T&T will be a priority in 2015.
Mission: Safer roads for cyclists in T&T
San Fernando-born former Eng-
land international rugby player
Delon Armitage has launched an
appeal against his 12-week suspen-
sion for misconduct.
The Toulon player, 31, was found
guilty of using abusive language
towards Leicester fans after the Euro-
pean Rugby Champions Cup match
on 7 December.
Armitage, who won the last of his
26 international caps in 2011, began
his career with London Irish in 2003
before joining the French club in
His appeal will be heard in London
on Thursday, 8 January.
Armitage s ban was increased from
a starting point of eight weeks to 12
because it was his second post-
match misconduct case in four years.
He pushed an anti-doping officer
during a drugs test after playing for
London Irish against Bath on 1 Jan-
When it set the 12-week ban the
disciplinary committee report said
Armitage had an "appalling" record
both on and off the field.
"We considered the player s pre-
vious record and concluded that he
is an habitual offender against the
laws of the game, and one for whom
there needs to be a deterrent to com-
bat a clear pattern of offending, both
on and off the field."
"The player is without doubt an
exceptionally talented individual, but
he has an appalling disciplinary
record, both on and off the field."
Armitage appeals 12-week ban
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