Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2014 Contents A70
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 23, 2014
Nicholas Walker, a former standout
for Fairleigh Dickinson University,
became the latest T&T representative
in the Major League Soccer MLS)
after he was selected by FC Dallas in
the 2014 SuperDraft on Tuesday,
making him only the fourth
Caribbean player and the lone T&T
player to get a call.
Today, Walker celebrates his 24th
birthday along with the high-profile
selection. He was previously a four-
year starter at Fairleigh with a host of
accolades and one of the team's most
favoured and respected players, making
him a deserved selection by many.
Walker made the cut with the fifth
pick of the third round (43rd overall).
Although not much of a goal-scorer,
having bagged no more than four in
as many years, he is considered par-
ticularly fearless in the air.
"I'm beyond excited to get to Dallas,"
said Walker. "I actually had no idea
that I would be drafted coming from
such a small school. I got a text from
one I my teammates at school and
before I could reply, I got a call from
Sean de Silva (former national team-
mate) confirming the news."
Walker said he embraces the oppor-
tunity ahead, but acknowledges the
challenge given the success rate of
those from the Caribbean in the MLS.
"From this season I hope to go there
and become part of something greater
than myself. I hope to go over there
and create chemistry, become part of
the family and to add more leadership
to the team," said Walker. "This isn't
about me but about the journey; to
gain experience and become a better
To give a little insight into his ability
for those not particularly familiar with
Walker, he said his greatest strength
is his aerial ability.
"I have the mindset that nothing
would beat me in the air. But that
doesn't mean that they will beat me
on the ground either."
While playing for his alma matter
St Mary's College, Walker joined St
Ann's Rangers and then the now
defunct Ma Pau FC.
"There (St Mary's) is where I learned
to push myself and understand that
nothing comes easy. He also thanked
his friends and family who have sup-
ported him during the "highs and
"(They are) constantly keeping me
focussed on finishing school."
Speaking on his aspirations, Walker
said his goal in to don the national
"During the days of the Under-20
(Super League and World Cup qual-
ifiers) were some of my best. The pride
and passion I have from representing
my country is almost the same feeling
people get when a roller coaster drops.
"At this point, I just want the oppor-
tunity to gain the experience. Whether
it works out or not, in the end, I just
want to be able to say I gave my all."
Acting president of the T&T Bad-
minton Association (TTBA) Derwin
Renales, believes it will be a chal-
lenge to accomplish all the goals of
the organisation in the first half of
the year, but is optimistic that local
badminton can improve.
Renales stated: "There is much to
be done within a six month period,
and I expect that it will be no easy
feat to execute all the goals that have
been set out. However, the aim is to
keep lifting the level of Trinidad and
Tobago Badminton in the areas of
athlete and coach development and
also becoming more self sufficient
by attempting more fund raising
ventures as funding continues to be
a major issue."
He has also appealed to the mem-
bers of the badminton fraternity to
become more involved in activities
and ventures so that the TTBA could
stand a better chance of becoming
This plea was made during an
open forum meeting for athletes and
parents held at the Central Regional
Indoor Arena (CRISA) on November
30 2013, where certificates of appre-
ciation were also awarded to athletes,
board members, and parents in
recognition of their efforts and con-
tributions made towards the sport
over the past year.
The TTBA has already started a
facebook page (Trinidad and Tobago
Badminton Association), where
members can be updated with news
and events frequently. A website has
also been launched (www.ttbad-
minton.com), where interested per-
sons can keep in contact and abreast
of all the Assocaition's events and
Renales has represented T&T in
badminton for over 17 years, of which
15 was in the capacity of national
captain at the Pan American Games
and Caribbean Badminton Cham-
pionships (CAREBACO). He has won
silver and bronze medals in men's
doubles and team events.
He is also a former national men's
doubles and mixed doubles title
holder, having played alongside past
T&T top players such as David Lee
Kim, Dr Debra O'Connor, Ronald
Clarke, Beverly Tang Chong and
Renales currently coaches the
Shuttle Force Badminton Club with
former TTBA President Wendell La
Bastide for over 15 years, and also
remains active as a player at national
Renales optimistic for badminton
Siroichan Dhani will be one of
many amateur kickboxers compet-
ing at the second T&T Karate Fed-
eration/Global Department of the
Brazil Traditional Kickboxing Fed-
eration (CBKBT) Kickboxing Cham-
pionships on Saturday at Cosmic
Boxing Gym, Marabella.
Other male fighters include David
Tillack and Brent Mitchell, while
Rebecca Bhola and Chelsea Laloo
will battle in a special female exhi-
The event, which begins at 7 pm,
is under the supervision of national
kickboxing champion Rodney Ram-
lal, who is also the national director
Officials at the event include
Padma Bhulal Ali, Michael Smith,
Zameer Subhan, Megan Ali and
Anim Mohammed, who are all cer-
The event is approved by the
CBKBT and the T&T Karate Feder-
ation Kickboxing Division.
For more information or to register
call Sensei Ramlal at 706-4583.
Walker drafted into FC Dallas
Kickboxing tournament on Saturday
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