Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents 15
Issue 103 • Friday, September 6, 2013
Tayé's brand new TV talkshow L.I.V.E! airs
every Monday and Wednesday at 9pm,
with replays on Tuesdays and Fridays at
You can also catch episodes on YouTube
with Dennis Tayé Allen Twitter: @ttgameplan
Ending months of speculation, this year's major transfer
tale has to be Gareth Bale, who was finally unveiled at the
Santiago Bernabeu after completing his move on the last day
of the summer transfer window.
Bale has agreed to a six-year contract with Real Madrid
which will see him reportedly earn around $13.2 million a
year after taxes.
The reported $132 million fee sees Real break their own
world transfer record set when they signed Cristiano
Ronaldo from Manchester United for $124.6 million in 2009.
Madrid have confirmed that 20,000 fans were at the
Bernabeu for the presentation. The fact that's a quarter of
the number who attended CR7's unveiling---and that most of
them seemed to be shouting at club president Florentino
Perez: "Don't sell Ozil!"---is only secondary news, and may
not mean anything at all, really, but still...
Bale will earn about US$44.94 per minute.
In real world terms, it means that, every time Bale plays a
full match, he can pay 13 minimum wage earners in the USA
for a full 40-hour work week.
"It has been difficult to say goodbye to everybody at Tot-
tenham," Bale said at his presentation of the #11 shirt he will
wear for Real. "I had six great years there and some very spe-
"It's hard to turn down [a club like Real Madrid] and I am
sure they [Tottenham] understand that."
Another mega-transfer target, Neymar, will wear the
same #11 at Barcelona. Perhaps not the most iconic jersey at
either club, both players will have an opportunity to immor-
talise the shirt for their respective sides.
With Kaka gone to AC Milan on a free transfer, and Ozil
agreeing to terms with Arsenal, Real have very little to claim
as "Galactico" level talent---although it can be argued that
CR7 alone can carry the weight of many lesser stars. So it's
hard to understand Real's purchase of Bale, especially at that
astronomical price tag. However, for whatever the reasons
were, the Welshman is now in the famous all-white kit.
In much the same way that CR7's career will always be
compared to Lionel Messi's, so to will Bale's shift in Madrid
be compared to the Brazillian at Barca. Can he be the final
seal in the Merengues' bid for La Decima---their tenth all-Eu-
ropean champions league title? Or will rivals Barca once
again pip them to the tape with Neymar proving to be the
better mega deal?
Last Saturday morning, while the rest of
you were getting ready to put on your red,
white and black jockies to go hit the streets
for the Independence Day parade, a few of
the rollerskating fraternity were gathering
at Curepe for the first Skate-a-Thon, put on
bt the RollerSport Association.
The Skate-a-Thon was split into two
events; the first of which was a race from
Curepe to Fourth Street, Barataria, on the
Eastern Main Road in front of Furniture
A score of skating enthusiasts, some
with the "quad skates"---or what we in Trini
know as the common roller-skates---and
some with in-line skates that have been
more popular in the last decades.
The race, 6.5km west along the EMRd,
was supposed to start at 7am, however,
due to a string of unavoidable events, in-
stead got off to a rolling start at 8.15am.
Broken into three categories; Open, Jun-
ior and Female, the bunch of skaters soon
broke up and, by the time they reached the
traffic lights at the St Joseph mosque,
strung out into single file.
The early leader faced the short hill with
a brisk sprint that claimed the first casual-
ties, who fell and were picked up by the
Alpha Sounds music truck that blazed the
kindah of inspiration that they were accus-
tomed to at the Barataria Sportsplex on
weekend skate sessions.
By the next traffic lights at Champ
Fleurs, the three breakaway leaders had a
commanding lead which they held to the
end.Corvin Scote, more known for his smooth
dance moves at the 'Plex, had kept a steady
pace throughout, and race organizer, and
RSATT president, Dexter Crawford was not
far off in second place.
"I thought I would come last in this race,
yes! I'm a dance man,---this is the first time
I've made a road run with this kind of large
group of people. This was a good experi-
ence, I loved it," said an elated Scote.
While Scote and Crawford had kept a
steady pace down the road, it was Dillon
"Ghost Rider" Brown who had shown the
zest, especially in the final kilometer. He
was flying down the Main Road on his cus-
tomized quads, however, his many stops to
assist other skaters along the route would
leave him with too much room to make up
"I thought there would be some more
falls, but everyone pushed themselves to
the limit," said Brown. He would place third
The race for the Juniors was much closer,
with 13-year-old Tayé Allen and Kadeem
Codrington, 16, sprinting it out to the flag at
the finish line.
Tevaughn Dos Santos, 16, had a token
sprint with Irian Allen, 12, but the fact was
that the younger of the two Allen brothers
had been well-cooked way before the
Quasay, and only sprinted to the tape to
give the fans a show.
Some minutes after came the elated Abi-
gail "Abbi Shiza" Harry, the lone female fin-
isher in the bunch. She was followed by
The final competitor to cross the line on
his own steam was Joevaney Thomas. The
tall, strapping youth had decided to skate
dispute the setback of having to force his
size-12 feet into size-10 skates---without
socks. He didn't complain, but that couldn't
have been easy and he would have relished
the break between the speed race and the
leisure skate that would take the whole
group down to King George IV Park to join
up with the Parade.
• Keep posted with the RSATT activities
on the Association website: www.rsatt.com
So Friday I helping my lil sis drive around and sort
out some last-minute stuff for her wedding, which
would take place the following day, and my phone
Now, anyone on my Twitter or Facebook would know
that my BlackBerry was lost in a taxi a few weeks ago
and I had been without a phone for a few days, so my
phone ringing was a bit of a strange thing for me. The
numbers (over 300) I had stored on the Berry were not
on the new me-2 I've been using, so everyone's number
comes up without a contact name or any details. (Imag-
ine that nah! Getting a phone call and not knowing who it
is calling? Real 80s style, I know, right?)
So the phone rings, just as I'm parking in the mall to
go get a pair of shoes.
"Hello...? Hellohellohello?" I repeat, clearly to ab-
My sis, who has seen this happen before, asks if I've
been hanging out with stalkers, again---which I deny---
and I hang up.
Seconds later, the me-2 rings again and this time I get
the unmistakable voice of Spalk---sorry, the Honourable
Minister of Sport, Anil Roberts---who had been trying to
call to discuss some comments I made in last week's
Sportline (check the column on the Metro Web site here:
I, along with many of the sportswriters in T&T, had
been asking for some clarity on the issue of the lack of
funding coming from the MoS that, over the last few
weeks, has resulted in several T&T national teams stay-
ing home from some major international competitions.
Roberts, who had held a media conference to address
the issue, shared some facts and figures with me over
the phone, stating that the Hockey Board and the Na-
tional Association of Athletics Administrations had both
exceeded their allotments for the fiscal year, as had the
Football Association. The minister has quoted some fig-
ures relating to the totals his ministry had spent on the
respective sporting bodies, however, seeing that I had no
means of either recording the conversation, or of verify-
ing the amounts quoted, I won't repeat them here. How-
ever, something that the Minister did say I will repeat:
why is it that these NSOs have not secured other
sources of funds? Why is it that the vast majority of the
funding that goes into local sports comes from the MoS?
Looking at the recently concluded Limacol CPL T20---
where each team had dancers; each sponsor had
dancers; and each stand has their own sponsored, all-in-
clusive limes---it's clear that sponsors are still interested
in sports. It's also clear that the fans will jump out---in
any weather---to come support the events. TV, long seen
as unprofitable in these Caribbean markets, seem to
have done well with the CPL T20 as well. One ticket
scalper I spoke with had bought up 100 tickets for
theT&T Red Steel vs Guyana Amazon Warriors semifinal
at the Oval. He claimed that he sold his grap of tickets,
for which he had paid $60 each, had all been sold in less
than half-hour for the price of $200-250 each. He said
that the tickets were sold to other scalpers---which
would account for the $300 prices I saw being grudg-
ingly forked over by my cricket-going friends on Face-
So, the holy Trinity of sports had been aligned for this
cricketing spectacle: fans, sponsors and TV. What made it
different to last year's Caribbean T20 Competition?
Is it time that NSOs and regional sporting bodies di-
vest themselves of the role of promoter? Is it time that
private enterprise come into the fray as professional enti-
ties, the way that Verus International came into West In-
dies cricket in ways that the WICB have consistently
proved themselves incapable of doing?
Now, while I wish to make it clear that I do not speak
for Roberts on the whole---there are many things in sport
that he and I have different points of view on and I can
assure you, readers, that so too will everyone in every
NSO in T&T---the Minister does have a point. It is past
time that we start to see a more professional approach
to the marketing of our local sporting franchises, and
way past time that we see corporate marketing partner-
ships evolve and grow out local events. We have the ath-
letes, we have the talent, we have the infrastructure.
What we don't have is the profesionalised marketing
and development of the competitions they participate in.
And, until we can double our return on the investment
in sport through ticket sales the way that scalper did...
trust me: I can re-write this same column again every
year because the hue and cry over cash shortfalls will
Which leaves me with two questions I will have to ask
Anil: What about the MoS accounts? When do we see
the line item breakdowns for the last three years?
Gareth Bale, as he was introduced to the Real Madrid fans. You can just
see the teenage girls swooning for his poster-boy good looks, can't you?
Winners row. Clockwise from back left: Junior winner, Tayé Allen, Dillon Brown (3rd place
Open), Corvin Scote, Open winner, Michael Cooper, Most Pledges, Femal winner, Abigail
Harry, and Dexter Crawford, who placed 2nd in the Open race and also won the midpoint
draw and Most Votes---each for a pair of skates courtesy RSATT.
1. Corvin Scote
2. Dexter Crawford
3. Dillon Brown
4. Tayé Allen (1st Junior)
5. Kadeem Codrington
6. Tevaughn Dos Santos
7. Irian Allen
8. Abigail Harry (1st Female)
9. Syl-Daine Guerra
10. Joevaney Thomas
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