Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2015 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 11, 2015
CARNIVAL (2015) ARRANGEMENTS FOR MAGISTRATES' COURTS
The Public is hereby advised that the following Magistrates' Courts will be sitting on
Carnival Monday, February 16th 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. TO DEAL WITH CHARGE
o St George West (Port of Spain)
o Sangre Grande
o Point Fortin (for matters from Siparia district also)
o Couva (for matters from Chaguanas district also)
o San Fernando (old Magistrates' Court building: to handle matters from Princes Town
On Carnival Tuesday, February 17, 2014, all Magistrates' Courts will be closed, but at least
one Magistrate and appropriate staff will be on call in all Magisterial districts throughout
Trinidad and Tobago to handle matters as necessary.
The Tobago and Mayaro Magistrates Courts will be on call for both Carnival Monday and
Tuesday (February 16 and 17th 2015) Mayaro will also handle matters from the Rio Claro district.
The Public is invited to be guided accordingly.
To be, or not to be sport minister? That is the
question. And it applies again with the announce-
ment of Brent Sancho as this country s third sport
minister within five years.
There is little doubt that being sport minister is
a difficult and challenging job at any
time, much less when all eyes are on
you because of previous sport ministers
and also because of the constant com-
plaints in sport.
Nobody complains as much, I
believe as sporting organisations.
Rightfully or wrongfully, they are never
satisfied with something or someone,
and perhaps that is the way it was
meant to be.
However, the role of a sport minister
should be one that brings with it hap-
piness and joy for those involved as
sport is the one avenue that unites people of all
classes, colour and educational background.
Unfortunately, it appears that those who control
the sport minister in T&T believe that sport is below
every other sector and therefore receives the lowest
budget, the weakest support and minimum interest
until there is success, where the opportunity for
showboating can be milked in front of an adoring
It is imperative, therefore, that a sport minister be
objective, and while that is wishful thinking, it is a
hope borne out of an abundance of care and appre-
ciation for the many sporting personnel in this country.
These persons are not interested in politics of the
day, but rather their concern is representation of
their country and in this regard, we must ensure that
we do our best for them.
When our sporting persons succeed, they lift this
country like no one else can do. All we have to recall
is the mood in this country while our senior women s
team attempted to qualify for the World Cup in 2014.
This sort of experience cannot be bought with money.
So what should a sport minister do? First, under-
stand the fundamentals, which is, that being a minister
in this region is different to others in the world, and
secondly being a sport minister in T&T is different
to anywhere else. A sport minister needs to understand
his role, which is to facilitate sports, and not to dictate
to sporting bodies. This has been a common fault
of many of our ministers in the history of this country.
Perhaps, it is the power in being a minister. But
a careful analysis will reveal that you can only have
power when you have something which is worthwhile,
which is successful, which has achieved and continues
to attain high standard, when you start at the bottom,
you have to grow in the job. Anyone can talk loud,
anyone can shout instructions, but only a few can
inspire, only a few can motivate and even less can
It is not an easy job, nor should it be. It is one
where there is a need for both consultation and
understanding of various situations and of different
needs. No one sporting person is the same, each
comes from different backgrounds with special cir-
At this juncture in T&T, funding continues to be
a problem, with many associations crying out for
assistance from the Ministry of Sports/Sports Com-
pany. Both organisations find themselves under pres-
sure with obvious budget cuts. Indeed, SporTT does
not even have a board in place. However a good sport
minister would have to adopt the role of facilitator
and work the numbers to ensure that where possible,
those that need the funding obtain such in adequate
Priority is needed and institutions like the national
sporting archives which, unfortunately, has been
temporarily halted, must be resumed immediately.
This is the preservation of our sporting history, of
which the current minister must certainly be con-
cerned about. Also, as a new minister, there would
Ball now in Sancho's court
be many willing to give advice, and this is an extremely
crucial area as he will need to tread cautiously on.
Sometimes a minister should be allowed to make
his own judgement, assess a situation or person and
then ask questions. But whatever else, these spots
of danger must be carefully observed.
My knowledge is that several of those
who should not be funded are in fact
receiving funds and vice versa. This is
one area that a new sports minister
should address immediately to stop this
unfair procedure. It is all well and good
to talk on transparency, but to be effi-
cient, a sports minister needs to work
as a team with his permanent secretary.
This person is critical, and to succeed,
the minister and the permanent secretary
must be on the same page, or at least
turning the page over at the same time.
In this regard, while the sport minister can be
sport oriented, a permanent secretary who is inde-
pendent and has a good understanding of finance
and administration is also necessary to produce a
quality team going forward.
While everyone seems to enter any job with the
best intentions, there are always temptations around
and being able to avoid existing pitfalls in these posi-
tions would be critical. Integrity is critical as there
are troubled areas requiring good, sensible judgment.
To be a sport minister, one must have the will to
succeed in the shortest period of time, because people
in sports are intolerant; there is not much of a learning
curve in sport.
Success is the major yardstick and failure is never
an option. A sport minister can be doomed before
he starts, if he has limited time, funds, support and
lots of criticism. Welcome, Minister Sancho. The ball
is in your court.
New Sport Minister, Brent Sancho, poses with individual awardees at the 5th
annual awards of the TT Gymnastics Association on Saturday at the
International School, Port-of-Spain.
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