Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2017 Contents A46 sports
guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 27, 2017
Smith clears air on Lara Stadium
Sports Minister Darryl Smith
yesterday cleared the air on sev-
eral issues relating to the Brian
Lara Cricket Stadium and Acad-
emy, among them the fact the the
T&T Cricket Board of Control will
not be left out of its development
plans going ahead.
"In terms of the construction and
completion, for the very first time the
TTCB was finally part of that process.
Even though the facility has not been
handed over to us yet, we have allowed
the TTCB to host the very first event
there---a T20 event on the 4th and
5th of May," Smith said at a press
conference called to address, among
other things, the TTCB's concern
about being snubbed during the deci-
sion-making process for the setting up
and running the Brian Lara Academy.
"Whereas we have housed cycling,
swimming and tennis at their respec-
tive facilities, the Brian Lara Academy
is different. Brian's vision for it to be a
school not just for persons from Trini-
dad and Tobago but also the region and
internationally, to come there and live
there as we develop not only players
but umpires, coaches and other pro-
Smith also addressed the issue of
a stand at the stadium being named
after Indian batting star Sachin Ten-
dulkar. He called the matter a total
misunderstanding which has been
blown out of proportion and some-
what premature, as the matter was
still being discussed. He added that
any area named after Tendukar was
likely to be one of many named after
different sporting personalities at the
venue, but it was not a done deal yet
because the details were still being
"For the first time in the history
of T&T, we are going to have naming
rights. However, it is not a part of our
legislation so we are taking a note to
Cabinet to address that.
"There will be corporate boxes,
conference rooms, classrooms, gyms,
training rooms; all that we do plan to
cut up and sell and or honour Trin-
idadians, Tobagonians, regional and
"This will be done for two reasons
--- to honour and respect (these icons)
but moreso to bring in income."
However, Smith said he wanted to
wipe the slate clean as his aim was to
ensure sport in this country moves
"I'm not holding any animosity.
Let's work together with Mr Lara to
ensure that cricket reaches the pin-
nacle that it once was."
Also at the press conference was
chairman of the Urban Development
Company of T&T Noel Garcia, who
fended off claims by Princes Town MP
Barry Padarath that the facility was
unfit for usage.
In a release on Tuesday, Padarath
questioned the safety and readiness
of the stadium ahead of the proposed
May 13 gala opening featuring teams
captained by Brian Lara and Indian
batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
Yesterday, however, Garcia said: "I
find the statement made by Mr Padar-
ath to be reckless and irresponsible
and I say this based on the Arun Buch
report of a structural survey and as-
sessment which was commissioned
in 2012 on the Brian Lara Stadium."
Garcia said the Arun Buch report
was in fact commissioned by the pre-
vious People's Partnership govern-
ment and resulted in a document 19
volumes long giving the controversial
venue a stamp of approval.
He said he expects the Internation-
al Cricket Council will also approve
the venue for international use by
Gymnast widens scope Olympic legal action
Thema goes after TTOC
May will mark a year since
Thema Williams formally
opened a lawsuit against the
Trinidad and Tobago Gym-
nastics Federation over its de-
cision to pull her from the 2016
Olympic Games, and yesterday
she took another step in what
seems likely a long court battle.
A day after winning a preliminary
case to have the lawsuit heard in
the High Court, Williams and her
legal team yesterday turned their
attention to the Trinidad and To-
bago Olympic Committee.
Senior Counsel Martin Daly pre-
sented nine questions which, if an-
swered, his team feels can provide
clarity on how the drama unfolded
prior to the Rio Olympic Games.
His first question was the key
question: "What investigations
did they (TTOC) conduct into the
Gymnastics Federation's withdraw-
al of Thema from the Rio Test Event
and from the Rio Olympics before
they decided to ratify an athlete to
He then followed up questioning
the basis of what information was
received and from whom did the
TTOC make their decision to ratify?
The announcement of the latest
action was made during a press
conference at the offices of Keith
Scotland in Port-of-Spain.
For most of the press conference,
Williams sat silent in the middle of
Daly and Scotland.
In Justice Frank Seepersad's fa-
vourable ruling the day before, he
outlined that "there is a very evi-
dent public interest concern in this
matter and the selection process for
representation at the Olympics."
Daly used this as ammunition
in his opening statements, calling
on the TTOC to answer questions
"particularly as documents have
now been disclosed that demon-
strate that the TTOC was in reg-
ular touch with the Gymnastics
Williams had openly stated that
the Olympic Committee never con-
tacted her for a statement after she
was pulled from the Rio Olympic
Games and replaced by Marisa Dick.
Her legal team is questioning the
decision to replace her and if it was
done on a one-sided basis.
The TTOC has argued that
their meeting on May 30th, 2016
"considered all issues"
Media Sports wrote to the body's
president, Brian Lewis, who is cur-
rently in Uruguay, seeking answers
to these questions, but had no re-
sponse up until press time.
Daly's argument for both his
client and the country is that an-
swers to these questions can pro-
vide a clearer understanding into
T&T's historical but controversial
gymnastics entry into the Olympic
CCCAN boss eyeing
FINA event for T&T
President of the Central
American and Caribbean Ama-
teur Swimming Confederation
(CCCAN) Felix Calderon has
been in Trinidad for the past
three days in preparation for
this country's hosting of the
CCCAN championships in June
of this year.
Speaking at a press conference
yesterday, Calderon also made
clear his plans for the hosting of
major future events at the National
Aquatic Centre in Trinidad.
Calderon expressed his excite-
ment at the hosting of CCCAN
here in June, saying the National
Aquatic Centre was the perfect
venue, as the event is expected to
be the largest of its kind in 30 years.
He hailed the centre as world class
and one of the few of its kind in
Approximately 1,500 athletes
will be competing in the event,
with 13 men's and eight women's
water polo teams taking part. The
event acts as a qualifier for the
Central American and Caribbean
Games that will take place next
year in Colombia.
Calderon also highlighted mas-
sive future initiatives for the cen-
tre, saying on June 28 members of
UANA (continental body for aquat-
ics) will hold congress in Trinidad
to consolidate their commitment to
the re-election of Dr. Julio Magli-
one (current president of FINA).
Maglione will attend CCCAN in
June, which adds even more im-
portance to the event. Also to be
discussed in the June' congress is
the possibility of making the Na-
tional Aquatic Centre a host for
continental diving development.
In what may have been the high-
light of yesterday's press confer-
ence, Calderon announced plans to
bring the FINA Diving Grand Prix
Championships to Trinidad start-
ing from next year. This illustrious
competition has been held in major
cities around the world in the past
and Calderon is hoping T&T will
be its new host for years to come.
T&T gymnast Thema Williams with her attorneys Keith Scotland, right, and Martin Daly, SC, during a press conference at Scotland's law chambers in Port-
of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
Links Archive April 26th 2017 April 28th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page