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UNC grabs Barataria

News - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:54

Local Government by-election victory for both the People’s National Movement and United National Congress - with a negative message to the ruling PNM.

The ruling PNM prevailed in Belmont East yesterday but lost its Barataria seat in a close fight to the Opposition UNC, which successfully targeted the seat.

“We are the party to watch!” Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared in a victory speech to hundreds of cheering, dancing supporters at the party’s Barataria office last night.

“We have increased our votes by 28 per cent while the PNM has decreased. Tellingly, in Belmont East, once considered the fortress of the unpopular PNM, we also increased our votes by 200 per cent whilst PNM decreased - the message is that the people are fed up of this incompetent PNM Government.”

She added: “While we participated in only two by-elections for electoral districts in adjoining regional corporations in north Trinidad, clear messages were sent to the major political parties and their leadership today. Nowhere is safe for the PNM, we’ve shown we can find them, match them and beat them in the East, the West, the South and in the North.”

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who first celebrated the Belmont East victory at party’s Belmont office at 8.15 pm, had also acknowledged a “close fight” was going on Barataria. He’d said then PNM would accept the will of the people “whatever happens.”

And less than an hour later, Rowley conceded defeat in Barataria, telling the media that all was not lost and the PNM still controlled the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation with 10 seats.

The election was a straight fight to the finish between the PNM and UNC although the 18-month-old Progressive Empowerment Party - which lost its bid in both seats - still picked up some votes.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission didn’t respond on a preliminary voter turnout figure last evening. Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat on CNMG estimated it at around 35 per cent. Turnout was estimated by parties to be low in Belmont East and high in Barataria. Turnout in the 2016 Local Government poll was 34.34 per cent.

By-elections arose following the deaths last year of PNM Barataria councillor Pernel Bruno last July and Belmont East councillor Darryl Rajpaul last November.

The Belmont electorate yesterday was 3,237, as it was for 2016 LG polls when PNM won with 744 votes to UNC’s 49.

The Barataria electorate was 10, 207 - 10 less than when PNM won the seat in 2016 with 1,898 votes to UNC’s 1,506.

Yesterday, however, while the PNM maintained its hold on Belmont, through Nicole Young, the ruling party did so with lesser numbers than when it won it in 2016.

Communication Minister Stuart Young, declaring Belmont East victory at 7.55 pm, said the PNM won 594 votes out of 796 cast. But Young, who said PNM’s victory was “expected,” conceded that the UNC had increased its votes.

UNC Belmont East manager Kevan Gibbs said the party obtained 150 votes, “This was a 200 per cent increase over the 40 votes we got in 2016. We predicted since 9.30 am yesterday that we’d have proven Young to be a liar since he’d said on the campaign the UNC would have gotten less than 50 votes - we here to stay.” Gibbs added.

With all eyes then focused on Barataria for results, the UNC camp had been in a celebratory mood since after 8 pm.

By 8.30 pm, UNC MP Dr Fuad Khan and UNC Barataria co-ordinator Barry Padarath declared victory for Sharon Maraj-Dharam with 1,933 votes.

“I told you we did the work!” Padarath declared.

The Opposition had particularly targeted the Muslim vote in the area and polling division 1405 where such votes were located.

PNM was estimated to have obtained approximately 1,825 votes. PNM officials estimated there was probably a difference of 100-plus votes between their votes and UNC’s.

PNM had prepared for victory with a music truck at the Barataria office and was about to celebrate prematurely when the arrival of two final boxes of votes from the Barataria South Secondary school swung the election the UNC’s way.

Kamla: People fed up of Govt

Yesterday’s by-election sent the message that “the people are fed up with the non-performing, incompetent, arrogant, corrupt and clueless Government of Keith Rowley,” Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar said last night.

Hundreds of celebrating UNC supporters at the party’s Barataria office last night hailed Persad-Bissessar and her team when she arrived from her Palmiste home to join their victory party.

Persad-Bissessar told supporters, “We’ve today witnessed yet another demonstration of our collective democratic maturity and yearning for participation in our civic affairs....we are UNC and proud to be the only of the two major parties growing in widespread popular support outside of our traditional power base.

“We are the party to watch as we have increased votes in 16 of the 17 polling divisions with one remaining same. The PNM decreased in nine polling divisions.”

She added: “The people are fed up of rampant crime - murders 305, high food prices, lack of opportunities for decent work, rising cost of living, an ailing health care system, reduced quality of education for their children! This Rowley Government is only concerned with taking care of the 1%, their friends and family - they don’t care about you.

“That the Prime Minister himself spent so much time and energy in these by-elections and the people turned their collective backs on the PNM suggests that the writing is on the wall. Keep your yellow T-shirts nice and clean, well folded and pressed. It’s clearly a sign we’ll be called upon sooner rather than later to return to the polls for a General Election.”

She warned that the PNM would issue more threats and more warnings.

“To cover up their incompetence and corruption they will target innocent citizens for unfair persecution and malicious prosecution. They will threaten your leaders and key activists. But don’t be deterred - remain focused on the task at hand - ensuring that our country gets a leader and team with the vision and political will to get things done.

“Our UNC team of new faces and steady and experienced hands are on standby and high alert to intervene... Your party has been working, and we’re preparing a plan to move T&T forward.”

Categories: News

It’s business as usual

Columnists - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:14

Saturday, July 7, was a good day. Like most football fans, I spent it glued to the television, watching with excitement as England and Croatia won their respective matches. They went on to face each other in last Wednesday’s semifinal round; more on that later.

The popularity of the “Three Lions” squad makes them a natural favourite… but Croatia? Why would I care about them? In all honesty, it wasn’t that I wanted them to win… it’s that I wanted Russia to lose.

I know that sounds petty and irrational, especially since it makes no sense to jeer the 23 members of a national team just because I don’t like the politics of the country they represent.

But hey...this is football, a sport whose fandom is known for being ridiculous. Little did I know, however, that such a negative attitude would come back to haunt me.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, I checked the online Guardian to learn that Adrian Colm Imbert, the son and namesake of our Finance Minister, had been the victim of a robbery on Friday night.

My first reaction was an exclamation of “HA”, which resounded in the silence and solitude of my study.

But no sooner had the single word left my lips that I was overcome by a eeling of shame.

Here I was, finding spiteful amusement at this lad’s encounter with crime simply because of his familial connection.

Out of curiosity to see how my fellow Trinbagonians would react, I shared the report on social media.

Unfortunately, the majority of comments weren’t very nice, and could be aptly summed up by the Trini parlance of, “It good for him.”

Colm Imbert is perhaps one of the least liked members of the Cabinet. His position as head of the Finance Ministry, especially as it’s during an economic slump, makes him a popular target of ridicule.

Jokes about his levying of new taxes are so numerous that it’s a veritable cottage industry.

But putting his performance aside, Mr Imbert is also his worst enemy when it comes to his public image. He tends to sound arrogant when addressing Parliament and is often disrespectful to members of the media.

Even his smile can be off-putting, as if he’s saying, “I can do whatever I want and you all just have to take it.”

His persona is the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with our elected officials—acting as if they’re above the very people they are meant to serve.

In a couple of my previous columns I’ve described the existence of a “political class”; individuals who enjoy taxpayer-funded privileges while failing to provide comparable services in return.

It’s how they receive ample salaries, free healthcare and police protection; whereas average Trinbagonains can barely make ends meet, can’t get adequate healthcare and are being preyed upon by criminal elements.

Adrian Imbert had his mobile phone stolen—A PHONE—and the police were able to recover it a few days later (in contrast, the perpetrators of the Chaguaramas shooting remain at-large).

The resulting criticism was so fervent that the head of corporate communications for the TTPS had to deny that his case was given preferential treatment.

Unfortunately, Minister Imbert made things worse when, in a text interview, he denied using his ministerial influence to expedite the investigation. Our malevolent “taxman” even had the audacity to chastise the public for victimising his son.

In a morbid way, we want our politicians to “feel our pain”; to come down from their ivory tower and see how average citizens have to live.

It’s an extreme position, but at the very least, we would like them to exchange their hubris for a little humility.

And, by the way, about last Wednesday’s game… Croatia, the team I didn’t really care about… well, they ended up beating England. And Russia, in the meantime, just went on with business as usual.

That’s the thing about giving in to negative emotions like animosity—it leaves you empty inside while life goes on.

Mr Imbert is thankful that his son escaped those phone-bandits unharmed. And could probably care less that some Trinbagonians are trying to harm his pride.

Ryan Hadeed

Categories: News

Blows

Columnists - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:12

Despite protestations to the contrary from certain commentators, we do seem to have a problem with domestic violence. We not talking about murders, even though 52 women were killed last year, 43 in domestic violence incidents. Enchanting the term “incident”…..Yes sir, we had a bit of an “incident” down the road, “woman get she head smash in.” There also seems to have been a “bit of a spike” (another lovely word, bit), since the average for the preceding decade was 26 a year or as some would say, one every two weeks or so. Or so.

No, no, we not talking murder! We talking blows. Plain old-fashioned cuff in yuh face plus some kick and ting. Maybe a throat throttling or two. Some rape. Belt. Nothing too disfiguring. Despite what Roaring Lion said in 1933, “if you want to be happy and live a good life, never make a pretty woman your wife!”, you really don’t want a disfigured woman around, neighbours might talk.

As it happens, the police get more than 1,800 domestic violence (a much nicer word than “blows”) reports annually. About five a day.

In addition, according to the T&T Guardian of June 24, our Judiciary reported that more than 57,000 applications for protection orders have been made over the last two years. Fifty-seven thousand! I find that hard to believe. That’s over 150 applications a day and taking into account the number of holidays or days the courthouse cannot open because it rain or somebody gone on holiday or the A/C not working or the guard forget the key home, it must be higher?

Nah! Something wrong. Can anyone confirm? No one I know can.

But there does seem to be a problem. The 2018 National Women’s Health Survey of just over 1000 of our women, found that 30% of them had experienced physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 6% were still receiving blows to their body in the year prior to the information being collected.

In practical terms that means that in the 15 to 64 age bracket, over 100,000 women in T&T have experienced one or more acts of physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by their romantic other.

Approximately 11,000 are likely to still be in abusive relationships. This is in tune with world figures.

This is awful and no doubt our hard-working parliamentarians are working feverishly to correct these wrongs. Whilst all this activity is going on, what is happening to the children in these situations?

Well, female survivors (hah!) of domestic violence reported more behavioural problems for their children between the ages of 5 to 12. These included things such as the child becoming unusually quiet and withdrawn, the child becoming aggressive, nightmares, bedwetting and decreased school performance, eg, repeating.

We don’t know what the non-survivors (another lovely word for dead people) would have said.

Finally, it turns out that there is a relationship between experiencing or witnessing violence as a child and actually being beaten as an adult. Women who had experienced violence as children were far more likely to receive blows compared to women who had not. The more severe the lifetime physical domestic violence experienced by a woman, the greater the likelihood that this woman had witnessed violence against her mother at home as a child.

What goes around, comes around.

Categories: News

Five advances, two declines on TTSE

Business - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:09

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 16 securities of which five advanced, two declined and nine traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 353,061 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $3,333,604.95. NCB Financial Group Limited was the volume leader with 275,542 shares changing hands for a value of $1,487,926.80, followed by One Caribbean Mediua Limited with a volume of 44,000 shares being traded for $528,000. T&T NGL Limited contributed 11,035 shares with a value of $328,291.25, while The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited added 6,826 shares valued at $595,381.66.

Unilever Caribbean Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $2.48 to end the day at $29.23. Conversely, Clico Investment Fund registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.08 to close at $20.43. It was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 1,980 shares valued at $40,447.66.

In Monday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

• The Composite Index advanced by 2.31 points (0.19 per cent) to close at 1,224.13.

• The All T&T Index advanced by 2.05 points (0.12 per cent) to close at 1,721.42.

• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.35 points (0.36 per cent) to close at 97.60.

Categories: News

Bourse keeps good ratings

Business - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:07

Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) has reaffirmed the CariA- regional rating and ttA- rating on the national scale of Bourse Securities Limited (BSL). This means that the company’s level of creditworthiness within T&T and the Caribbean is good.

The regional ratings agency also maintained a stable outlook on the ratings, premised on the expectation of continued profitability and maintenance of a healthy net interest spread, notwithstanding constraints on core income in light of subdued economic conditions in T&T and ongoing investment risks globally.

“We expect the BSL Group to maintain a generally stable credit profile over the next 12-15 months, underpinned by low leverage, strong capital buffers and liquid portfolios,” CariCRIS said. “The ratings of BSL reflect the company’s continued favourable financial performance as reflected in its good diversity of income streams, improved efficiency levels and continued profitability, though lower in 2017.

“The ratings continue to be supported by good asset quality, underpinned by a diverse investment portfolio, as well as the positive impact of ongoing measures taken by the company’s management to continuously review its Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

“Also adding to the overall good credit ratings is the company’s sound asset liability management practices, which contribute to an overall strong liquidity profile.”

CariCRIS added, however, the BSL’s good ratings is tempered by the fact that its funding base “remains highly concentrated towards a small number of large institutional investors, subjecting the company to significant refinancing risks, should these investors require repayment of the associated liabilities at short notice.

Categories: News

Starbucks stocks up on local chocolate

Business - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:06

On the heels of the successful launch of his own brand of dark chocolates, young businessman James Burn has landed a deal to produce a special brand of chocolates for the local Starbucks franchise.

Burns, 28, said his venture into the agri-business started on the cocoa estate owned by his family at Gran Couva in central Trinidad where he started producing his brand of JB Chocolates just over four years ago.

Using beans from the Burns Cocoa Estate, the young entrepreneur created chocolates bars in 14 flavours.

The estate produces 1.5 tonnes of cocoa beans annually—not enough to full Burns’ production demands which require 2.5 tonnes of cocoa annually—so he purchases additional cocoa from the Montserrat Hills Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Limited.

In addition, beans from his estate are sent to the co-operative where they are fermented and roasted

According to Burns, the operators of the cooperative have the experience to get the best flavour from the beans.

The young businessman said he got involved with Starbucks after officials of the global coffee shop chain approached him at a World International Chocolate Day event hosted by the Cocoa Research Centre at The UWI more than a one year ago and asked him to create an exclusive chocolate bar featuring their coffee flavour.

Burns came up with a product created from Pike Place Coffee infused with the chocolate, where a special process is used to combine the flavours. The process take approximately three days and the product is available exclusively through Starbucks.

Burns also supplies Coverture chocolates to companies in North America and will soon be getting an export license to sell JB Chocolates globally.

Sharing his formula for success in the industry, Burns explained: “It is more profitable to get into the downstream aspects of cocoa production and entrepreneurs should start with a minimum of a five-acre estate.

Burns admitted that a cocoa estate requires a lot of hard work, but added: “The reward is great. You get to understand the true nature of the cocoa and the methods used in production.”

Categories: News

Brooks bags bronze in Ireland

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:26

T&T’s Alena Brooks bagged a bronze medal in the women’s 800 metres event at the 67th Cork City Sports International Athletics meet at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, yesterday.

The national middle-distance runner raced from lane two and clocked two minutes and 03.40 seconds, bettering her season’s best of 2.04.09.

She followed American duo Laura Roesler and Emily Richards, respectively to the line. Roesler won gold comfortably in a time of 2:02.45 and Richards copped silver in 2:03.20.

In the men’s 100m dash, national champion Keston Bledman was seventh in 10.45. Winning was South African Emile Erasmus in 10.14, in second place was Winston George of Guyana in 10.29, just ahead of Bismark Boateng of Canada in 10.30.

Bledman was carded to race in the 200m but he did not compete. Boateng was the winner in that race in 20.87 with Jeremy Dodson of Samoa second in 21.32. The other competitor George did not finish.

Tomorrow, Commonwealth 100m women’s champion Michelle-Lee Ahye will compete in the 100m dash at the Sotteville Lew RouenInternational meet in France.

She will renew her rivalry with the three-time Olympic champion and double World champion (100m and 200m) Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown and current record holder of the meet Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast.

Categories: News

I salute Kwasi Emmanuel

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:25

The 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games will open on Thursday in Baranquilla, Colombia.

Team T&T (TeamTTO) will be represented by a delegation of around 300 athletes and support staff. A large undertaking financially and logistically. Regardless of the challenges the CAC Games is a multi-sport event that many of the sporting disciplines have the opportunity to display their bonafide. In many instances, it is, in essence, a gauge of medal prospects at Pan American (Pan Am ) Games and the Olympic Games.

In a difficult and challenging economic climate the support of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the respective T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) corporate partners and the importance of their support to the athletes in individual and team sports, deserve acknowledgement and appreciation.

The TTOC can’t for one second adopt an aura of entitlement and privilege. Any support given is considered an investment and that investment isn’t just financial it’s also emotional and social.

The challenges faced by this team will certainly be character building.

The financial and logistical problems are in a deeply profound way minor in comparison to the mental and emotional challenge facing the national men’s hockey team in particular and the entire delegation in general. The sudden and untimely passing of former TTOC youth camper and national hockey goal-keeper Kwasi Emmanuel and the impact of his loss two days before departure is heartbreaking and stunning.

Moving on from his passing is easier said than done.

The 21-year-old talent and potential was unquestioned, his determination, ambition and leadership qualities shone like a beacon.

At times, Kwasi seemed mature beyond his years while at the same time he was a young man coping, struggling and overcoming all that young people his age has to deal with.

His willingness to share, mentor and give back was evident when after attending the TTOC Olympic Youth Camp, he volunteered thereafter to be a camp coordinator.

The TTOC extends sincerest condolences to his family, friends, teammates, Malvern sports club. Baranquilla 2018 has gotten off to a rough start for Team TTO.

Editor’s Note

Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the views expressed are not necessarily that of the organisation

Categories: News

T&T cyclists set to conquer CAC Games

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:23

A full strength T&T cycling team is set to upset the applecart at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla Colombia.

The team comprising Olympian Njisane Phillip, who was fourth fastest in the world at the 2012 Olympic Games in London England, and Nicholas Paul, a goal-medal winner at the Junior Pan Am Games three years ago at the National Cycling Centre, began to depart in batches yesterday.

The first batch consisting sprint sensations Phillip, Paul, Kwesi Browne, Keron Bramble, Quincy Alexander and Akil Campbell as well as Kemp Orosco, Tyler Cole and Christiane Farah, left yesterday with the coach and technical director Erin Hartwell.

The other members of the contingent which comprised Adam Alexander, Jovian Gomez, Alexi Costa, Jessica Costa, Alex Bovell, Ashton Williams (assistant coach), Elisha Greene (mechanic), Gene Samuel (assistant coach) and David Francis (manager) will depart today.

The country’s top female cyclist Teniel Campbell will join the team in Colombia, straight from the UCI Cycling Centre in Switzerland where she has been for the past few months working on developing her skills.

Yesterday Robert Farrier, president of the T&T Cycling Federation said the team will be a force to be reckoned with for the first time.

“We are expecting podium finishes from all our male sprinters and very competitive performances from both our men and women endurance riders. I think under Hartwell, we were able to pick a really strong team as the cyclists have responded positively to his work. With Hartwell in charge we are seeing a different level of discipline and professionalism which will auger well at the Games,” Farrier said.

The T&T women will be making their debut at the CAC Games as a team, and they could be among the medals as they have shown consistent progress during the past few months of training, Farrier explained, noting the women twice broke the national team pursuit record during training at the weekend.

Yesterday Roxanne Ramnath, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the cycling federation said she would like to congratulate the women riders for working hard toward representing their country at the CAC Games for the first time.

“These girls have been training under the technical director Mr Erin Hartwell and have raised the bar after recently competing in the Elite competitions in T-Town by meeting the qualifying standards to be selected for this grand event,” Ramnath explained.

The team is expected to plunge into action from Sunday

WALTER ALIBEY
 

Categories: News

Robertson-Forrester is East school Bball MVP

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:22

Kalique Robertson-Forrester of Holy Cross College was recognised as the “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) in the boys’ Under-20 and Under division in the Secondary Schools Basketball League East Zone, recently. The awards ceremony took place at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena. His outstanding play helped his team capture the league title, so too his teammate Samuel Waldron, who was named the “Most Improved Player” honours.

Tunapuna Secondary’s Nickolai Mills was honoured as the “Most Promising Player”. He also picked up the prize for the highest individual score in one match, 44 points.

The trio brought much excitement to the East School’s league that had their supporters at the edge of their seats in quite a few matches and of course the finals in each division. Robertson-Forrester, Waldron and Mills were duly celebrated for their respective contributions, later being named on the 12-member All-Star team.

The leading players in the 17 and under division were also named on the All-Star team as well including Jovan George of Trinity College East, who was honoured as the top player and his teammate Jamal Prince, the most improved player while Jaheim Evelyn (Tunapuna Secondary) received the promising player award.

Both George and Prince were vital in Trinity East being crowned the champion of the U-17 division. In second place was Tunapuna while Holy Cross finished third. The top three finishers in each division received a trophy and 12 medals. At the function, officials of the League used the opportunity to recognise and express its appreciation for the support by Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the manager and staff of the Maloney Indoor Regional Sporting Complex and the media.

HONOUR ROLL

15 and under division:
1 Trinity College East; 2 Holy Cross; 3 El Dorado East
17 and under Division:
1 Trinity East; 2 Tunapuna Secondary; 3 Holy Cross
20 and under Division:
1 Holy Cross; 2 Tunapuna Secondary; 3 Trinity east
Individual awards
15 and under Division
Most Valuable Player: Soga Somorin (Trinity East)
Most Promising Player: Jelani Blackette (El Dorado East)
Most Improved Player: Luke Waldron (Holy Cross)
17 and under
Most Valuable Player: Jovan George (Trinity East)
Most Promising Player: Jaheim Evelyn (Tunapuna Secondary)
Most Improved Player: Jamal Prince (Trinity East)
20 and under
Most Valuable Player: Kalique Robertson Forrester (Holy Cross)
Most Promising Player: Nickolai Mills (Tunapuna Secondary)
Most Improved Player: Samuel Waldron (Holy Cross)
Special Awards
13 and under/Form One best player: Christian Zoe (Hillview College)
Lone women’s player (U-17 and U-20): Jerryn Donald (North Eastern College)
All Star Team:
Kalique Robertson Forrester (Holy Cross), Nickolai Mills (Tunapuna Secondary), Samuel Waldron (Holy Cross), Soga Somorin (Trinity East), Jelani Blackette (El Dorado East), Luke Waldron (Holy Cross), Jovan George (Trinity East), Jaheim Evelyn (Tunapuna Secondary), Jamal Prince (Trinity East), Josiah James (North Eastern College), Trevor Joseph (Mt Hope Secondary), Alexus Worrell (Mt Hope Secondary)
Highest individual score in one game:
17 and under: Nickolai Mills (Tunapuna Secondary) 44 points
Most Oustanding Coaches
1 Kern George (Trinity East)
2 Kenyatta Alfred (Holy Cross)
Top performing manager: Clifford Wong (Manzanilla Secondary)
Most Disciplined school: Tunapuna Secondary
Recognition of magnicifent work done by match officials: Ahkeem Boyd; Ahkeel Boyd; Latalya Tinto

Categories: News

Russell returns, Samuels out

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:19

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Explosive all-rounder Andre Russell is poised to play his first One-Day International in three years after being named in a 13-man squad for the three-match series against Bangladesh starting next Sunday in Guyana, but no place has been found for veteran right-hander Marlon Samuels.

The 30-year-old Russell has not played since the tour of Sri Lanka back in 2015, with his availability having been further compounded by a year-long ban for an anti-doping whereabouts violation, which ruled him out of all competitive cricket last year.

He returned at the start of the year and scored a hundred in the domestic Super50 Championship but declined an invitation to participate in the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March.

A big-hitting lower order batsman, brilliant out-fielder and sharp seamer, Russell’s return has been highly anticipated and West Indies head coach Stuart Law said he was pleased to have the Jamaican back in the fold.

“This is the start of our prep for the 2019 [Cricket World Cup], opportunities for players to stake a claim to be included in the squad,” Law said.

“Great to have Dre Russ (Russell) back as well. His explosive power and energy will breathe life into an already motivated squad.”

The 37-year-old Samuels is a conspicuous omission, however. A veteran of 199 ODIs, the Jamaican stroke-maker was part of the squad for the World Cup qualifiers where he scored 231 runs at an average of 33.

He along with superstar opener Chris Gayle are the most experienced members of the Windies ODI setup, which otherwise comprises a number of young players.

Samuels is just one of several players who participated in World Cup Qualifiers, to be overlooked for the upcoming series.

All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, along with left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and seamers Kesrick Williams and Sheldon Cottrell, have all been ignored while Test seamer Kemar Roach has been rested.

Speedster Alzarri Joseph, meanwhile, has returned to the side after recovering from a stress fracture which kept him out of competitive cricket for most of the year.

The 21-year-old played the last of his 14 ODIs ten months ago on the five-match tour of England.

Chief selector Courtney Browne said with the Windies scheduled to play 16 ODIs before the ICC World Cup in England next May, his panel would use the opportunity to continue their evaluation of players.

“As we continue to prepare, there are only 16 ODIs leading up to the tournament. The panel will focus on giving opportunities from time to time to players that we believe can add value to the ODI team,” said Browne.

“With the Super50 Championship set for October this year, we will also have an opportunity for regional players to perform heavily and place themselves in line to be considered for selection.”

As expected, the squad will be led by Test skipper Jason Holder and includes impressive 20-year-old pacer Keemo Paul and Test left-hander Kieran Powell who has not played an ODI in over a year.

The second ODI is also carded for Guyana on July 25 with the final match set for Warner Park in St Kitts three days later.

West Indies swept the preceding Test series 2-0. (CMC)

Squad 

Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell.

Categories: News

Gomez helps T&T hammer Windwards by 187 runs

Sports - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:15

T&T defeated the Windward Islands by 187 runs in Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Regional Under-17 Tournament when the fourth-round of matches concluded at various venues across the country yesterday.

T&T was in a dominating mood at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba last evening, scoring 259 for seven after opting to bat first in the 50-over contest.

Then, the T&T bowlers humbled the visitors for 72 to record a massive victory. With the win, T&T moved to 13.7 points but is still adrift of leaders Guyana, which has 18.9 points.

T&T bowlers, despite a cushion of 259 runs, still ran in hard at the Windwards batsmen which were tottering at 15 for five as pacer Jaden Seales ripped out three batsmen for just five runs in a hostile opening burst of speed.

He was well supported by left-arm spinner Nicholas Ali who took four wickets for 25 runs.

T&T will now meet the Leewards today at Gilbert Park in its final round match and will be hoping that Guyana loses to Barbados in their final match-up at the NCC which will boast T&T chances of winning.

The other game of academic interest will take place at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy featuring the Windwards and Jamaica.

T&T lost two early wickets and among them was the star batsman Leonardo Julien. It took an 82-run third wicket partnership between captain Antonio Gomez and opener Tariq Mohammed to put T&T back on track.

Mohammed, in particular, looked good and hardly put a foot wrong during his composed knock. He was quick to pounce on anything short or offline and was able to dispatch the ball to the fence with ease, his timing was very good.

However, he fell via the run out route after a mix up with Gomez for 43. He faced 77 balls and struck six fours in his solid knock. As soon as he left Gomez perished for 49 off 57 balls with three fours.

T&T slipped to 109 for four and in danger of collapsing, however, Rivaldo Ramlogan came in and played a steady hand in getting 27 that helped kept the scoreboard ticking. He faced just 21 balls and struck two sixes and two fours.

Towards the end of the innings, Isaiah Gomez took the game away from the Windwards by blasting their bowlers all over the ground. He ended the innings by hitting the last ball for six and walked off with an unbeaten 66 from 50 balls with four fours and five sixes. With him at the end was Anderson Mahase who scored an unbeaten 19.

For the Windwards Keydan Arnold took two wickets for 30 runs, while Simeon Gerson took two for 29.

In Central, Guyana continued its impressive run after losing its first game, as the team defeated Jamaica by 41 runs at Gilbert Park.

Sachin Singh batted well and scored 48 to take them to 174 for seven off its 50 overs. He got good support from Andre Seepersaud who made 38.

For T&T Brandon English and Romaine Jacob took two wickets apiece.

When Jamaica replied it lost wickets at regular intervals and in the end was routed for 143.

At the National Cricket Centre in Couva, rain played a hand in that game as well, with Barbados batting first and scoring a healthy 245 for seven off its 50 overs.

The Leewards made 115 all out and the Barbadians recorded their second victory on the trot.

YESTERDAY’S CWI UNDER-17 SCORES

At Brian Lara Cricket Academy: T&T 259/7 (50) (Isaiah Gomez 66no, Antonio Gomez 49, Tariq Mohammed 43, Rivaldo Ramlogan 27, Anderson Mahase 19no, Keydan Arnold 2/30, Simeon Gerson 2/29) vs Windwards 72 all out (25.1) (T Bishop 30, Jaden Seales 3 / 5, Nicholas Ali 4/25) - T&T won by 187 runs.

At Gilbert Park: Guyana 174/7 (50) (Sachin Singh 48, Andre Seepersaud 38, Romaine Jacob 2/24, Brandon English 2/37) vs Jamaica 143 all out - Guyana won by 31 runs.

At NCC: Barbados 245/7 (50) (M Forde 68, A Morris 50, Jaden Leacock 42no, J Francis 2/51) vs Leewards 115 all out (S Gokrran 27, J Hoyte 3/29, N Austin 2/26) - Barbados won by 130 runs.

Categories: News

Blown well continues to spew oil into Gulf of Paria

News - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:29

Senior well-control engineers from the United States and the Energy Ministry experts will make a decision by the end of the week, on how to safely stop high pressures of oil and gas from spewing out of a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Paria.

The emissions have continued to spout over the past 13 days, causing harm to the environment. 

In an interview yesterday, managing director of the Environmental Management Authority Hayden Romano said it was still uncertain how much gas and oil had spilled since the sea-bed well ruptured on July 4.

"All the various professionals have been engaged and they are working assiduously to get to a solution. The big challenge here is to ensure a safe solution but I expect by the end of the week they will have the solution," he said.

Romano said the team, which includes two senior well-control engineers from Boots & Coots Services, one of the leaders in the global energy industry for well control services, have been looking at options. 

"We are not appraised of the options but we expect that they will have it under control very soon," Romano said. Asked who will be paying the foreign experts, Romano said the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries was handling the problem as the well was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry.

He said the EMA had requested details of the extent of the emissions but noted that once the problem is safely brought under control, these statistics will become available.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy said yesterday that meetings are taking place with the fisherfolk, who have been unable to fish in the vicinity of the ruptured sub-sea well.

President of Orange Field Pirogue Owners Association, Christopher John, met with acting permanent secretary in the Ministry Penelope Bradshaw-Niles and other members of the team.

"Members of the delegation were able to get a brief view of the fishing port and facilities in the area before the start of the discussions which were very cordial. John was able to outline the main issues affecting his members, key among which was the need for additional safety markers in the sea around the well," the Ministry said.

Bradshaw-Niles relayed the fishermen's concerns to the Incident Management response team and the Maritime Services Division who made arrangements to have markers installed.

Last week,  Bradshaw-Niles also met with President of the La Brea Fisherfolk Association, Alvin La Borde who reported that oil deposits had washed ashore in the area around Carat Shed Beach.  However,

Romano said these deposits had nothing to do with the ruptured oilwell at Couva platform.

Last week, secretary of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, Gary Aboud questioned whether there were other wells in danger of experiencing similar blow-outs.

"There are literally hundreds of decades old, capped, orphaned or abandoned wells which may not have been properly decommissioned, and are corroding. This is not the first time this has happened. Tank 70 erupted in 2017 despite the warnings stated in 2003, Shell Integrity Tank Assessment Report," Aboud said.

He also demanded to know where were the maintenance schedules for abandoned platforms or capped wells, adding, "When was the last time the Ministry of Energy did a safety inspection of the hundreds of abandoned wells in our maritime waters and onshore sites?"

Vice president of the T&T Fisherfolk Association Kishore Boodram said fishermen were staying away from the disaster zone saying if a fire ignites, there could be an environmental disaster in the Gulf. 

He also called on the ministry to conduct regular inspections to prevent any further ruptures of oil and gas installations.

Categories: News

Holder wants better pitches to suit Windies’ fast bowlers

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:56

KINGSTON, Jamaica—Despite trouncing Bangladesh 2-0 in their just completed Test series, West Indies captain Jason Holder is calling for better pitches to be prepared in the Caribbean.

He raised the concern during a press conference following the regional side’s 166-run victory over the visitors in the final Test at Sabina Park, yesterday.

Holder told reporters he’d like to see more consistent pitches which better suit fast bowlers.

“It dried out. After the first day it was very, very moist, but it dried out and there was still variable bounce which for me I don’t really want to be seeing in Test cricket. I just feel as though we need to do a little bit more in terms of our pitches to have consistent carry throughout the entire game as opposed to balls keeping low and some balls popping.

“I was a little disappointed in the way it turned out, but at the end of the day it was still good to see that the boys adjusted well on the surface and we got ourselves out of a tough spot after losing the toss…,” Holder said.

While he conceded that fast bowlers still managed to take wickets on the surface, Holder said the pitch was not as helpful as it could have been.

He said the Sabina Park pitch was usually known for its pace and bounce.

“…I just felt there should have been a little bit more in the surface here. We went in with four fast bowlers and up front we thought it would have been a bit more helpful for the faster bowlers.

“Albeit the seamers still got the wickets, but in terms of the carry and the consistent pace and bounce we’ve come to expect here at Sabina Park, it probably wasn’t the way we expected,” Holder said.

The West Indies captain’s call for better pitches comes on the heels of a similar request by former West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon, following the three-Test series against Sri Lanka which ended in a 1-1 tie.

Franci had promised good pitch

Before the match, the Jamaica Cricket Association’s (JCA) chief executive officer Courtney Francis had given the assurance that the Sabina Park’s pitch and outfield will be in top condition for the second and final Test match between West Indies and Bangladesh.

West Indies, which ended 1-1 with Sri Lanka in their recent three-Test series, have a one-nil lead against Bangladesh after sweeping to an innings and 219-run victory in the opening match in Antigua.

“The preparation has been excellent, and we are confident that we have done all that we can under the circumstances,” Francis told the Jamaica Observer.

“There are some standards set out and we have met all the standards. We met with the [Cricket] West Indies representatives this morning and they were impressed with where we are,” he said while insisting that all operational personnel are aware of their roles.

Francis said proper security measures will be in place and urged West Indies cricket supporters to throw their weight behind their team.

“We want people to come out and lend some support, seeing that West Indies are showing some consistency and winning some matches.

“While we curse them when they are not doing well, when they are doing well we need to lend the support to ensure we give them that morale boost and hope they can climb the rankings,” Francis said. (CMC)

Categories: News

New generation of sport managers

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:54

The need to be professional was the common theme echoed by panellists at the conference on Sport and Future at the Azimut Hotel in Moscow, Russia, on June 29. The panellists included Javier Zanetti, VP, Inter Milan; Leonardo Araujo, former player and FIFA World Cup Winner; Thabo Stiles Ntshinogang, CEO, Botswana Premier League and Lili Borisova, general manager, Bulgaria National Basketball League.

In essence, professional management revolves around three key areas: theory and experience; establishing a vision and goals; and being able to adapt and embrace change.

The panellists agreed that managing sport in a business environment requires strategic thinking and action. Sports management must be connected to the knowledge of managing as well as drawing upon various types of occupational and sporting experiences. Leonardo recognised his investment in education after his playing career with Brazil and club had ended, complemented his on the field knowledge of the game as a football manager. Zanetti expressed a similar view as it related to his graduation as a player to VP, at Inter Milan.

The best available human resources must always be utilised to ensure the optimal strategic development of any sporting organisation whether professional or amateur.

Directly connected to theory and experience, is the establishment of a clear Vision and SMART GOALS. The absence of these will result in an aimless organisation with the strong likelihood of poor development and eventual miscarriage of intentions. Establishing a clear vision and setting attainable goals is predicated on understanding the social, economic and political environment the sporting discipline is operating within. At the opening of the conference, FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, emphasised the importance of sporting organisations engaging in continuous education through cerebral networking.

Appreciating the importance of the aforementioned traits will best position sports managers to deal with the interwoven changes taking place within and outside of sport especially as it relates to technology. In other words, sports managers have to be constantly aware of the changes taking place in the environment that is affecting sport and be able to respond accordingly to ensure that the sport remains current and trendy with all stakeholders, such as investors, fans and athletes. For instance, connecting fans with athletes before, during and after events through various forms of social media or as Zanetti stated getting more women involved at the management level in sporting organisations.

“I don’t feel it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” —Michel Foucault.

Categories: News

QPCC whips Giants to open lead

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:50

Four different players were on target as Queen’s Park Cricket Club whipped San Fernando Giants 4-2 to open a two points lead at the top of the T&T Super League standings on Saturday.

Starting the day as joint leaders with Matura ReUnited, the Parkites took the lead as early as the third minute through Keston George at St Mary’s College Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair.

However, Tristan Khan drew the visitors level in the 14th minute only for Glen Walker and Elton John to score in the 30th and 34th minute to give the Parkites a 3-1 advantage at the half-time interval.

Sean De Silva then made it 4-1 in the 74th minute with his sixth strike of the campaign to put the result beyond doubt, before Andrei Pacheco netted a late second item for Giants, in the 84th.

With the win, the Parkites remained one of two unbeaten teams this season, and improved to 16 points after six matches, two more than Cunupia FC, the other unbeaten team, which swept past RSSR FC 3-1 on Thursday led by a hat-trick from Kevon Woodley, the top scorer to date with seven goals.

Up at the Youth Training Centre, Arouca, Matura ReUnited failed to keep pace at the top after it was beaten 2-1 by host Prison Service FC.

Nathan Julien and Ricardo Alleyne scored in the tenth and 58th minute respectively for Prison Service before Brendan Figuera got a 91st-minute consolation for Matura.

Elsewhere, defending champions Guaya United blanked cellar- placed Bethel United 3-0 to move into a three-way tie with FC Santa Rosa and Police FC for the fourth spot, but ahead on goal-difference.

T&T SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS

THURSDAY, JULY 12:
Cunupia FC 3 (Kevon Woodley 22nd,
26th, 48th) vs RSSR FC 1 (Kerron
Cordner 58th)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
FC Santa Rosa 3 (Kevon Cornwall 4th,
Noel Williams 11th, Kishun Seecharan
85th) vs Club Sando Cultural United 1
(Christon Freitas 77th)
Prison Service FC 2 (Nathan Julien
10th, Ricardo Alleyne 58th) vs Matura
ReUnited 1 (Brendon Figuera 91st)
Guaya United 3 (Akiel Paul 22nd,
Garvin Samaroo 52nd, Carlon Hughes
78th) vs Bethel United 0
Police FC 2 (Jason Boodram 35th,
39th) vs Metal X Erin FC 1 (Keyon
Alexander 10th)
UTT 2 (Kevaughn Connell 52nd,
Cyrano Glen 78th) vs Petit Valley/
Diego Martin 2 (Anthony Joseph 2nd,
Calvi Grazette 81st)
QPCC 4 (Keston George 3rd, Glen
Walker 30th, Elton John 34th, Sean
De Silva 79th) vs San Fernando Giants
2 (Tristan Khan 14th, Andrei Pacheco
84th)

STANDINGS

TEAMS P W D L A PTS
1. QPCC 6 5 1 0 16 6 16
2. Cunupia FC 6 4 2 0 15 5 14
3. Matura ReUnited 6 4 1 1 12 9 13
4. Guaya Utd 6 2 3 1 11 6 9
5. FC Santa Rosa 5 3 0 2 9 5 9
6. Police FC 6 2 3 1 5 6 9
7. UTT 6 2 2 2 6 8 8
8. Prisons Service 6 1 4 1 6 7 7
9. RSSR FC 5 1 2 2 5 5 5
10. Erin FC 6 1 2 3 9 10 5
11. Club Sando Cultural 6 1 1 4 4 9 4
12. San F’do Giants 6 0 4 2 4 11 4
13. Bethel Utd 6 0 3 3 4 12 3
14. P.V.D.M Utd 6 0 2 4 3 10 2

UPCOMING MATCHES

RESTARTED MATCH
Wednesday, July 18
RSSR FC vs FC Santa Rosa, St
Mary’s College Grd, Serpentine
Road, St Clair, 5.30pm
SATURDAY, JULY 21
Club Sando Cultural Roots Utd vs
San F’do Giants, Dibe Rec. Ground,
Long Circular, St James, 6pm
Matura ReUnited vs FC Santa
Rosa, TBC
UTT vs Prison Service FC, UTT
Ground, O’Meara Road Campus,
7pm
Petit Valley/Diego Martin Utd
vs Erin FC, St Anthony’s College
Ground, Westmoorings, 4pm
SUNDAY, JULY 22
Guaya United vs Police FC, Guaya
Recreation Ground, 4pm
RSSR FC vs Bethel United, TBC
QPCC vs Cunupia FC, , St Mary’s
College Grd, Serpentine Road, St
Clair, 4 pm

Categories: News

T&T faces Windwards today

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:47

With just two rounds of matches remaining in the Cricket West Indies Under-17 Championships, the Leeward Islands sit atop the standings following the completion of the third round of matches on Saturday.

In the fourth round of matches slated to be played today, the Leeward Islands will take on Barbados, Guyana will face Jamaican and T&T will come up against the Windward Islands seeking a change in fortunes as this match will prove cruical if the host is the retain its title.

On Saturday, in a low scoring affair, Guyana skittled out Gilbert Park, California, T&T fell only 65 before the opposition limped to 66-7, to hand the two-time defending champions its first loss of the competition.

They were three wickets apiece for Dwaine Dick and Sheldon Charles as no T&T batsman made 15.

In their turn at the crease, Guyana found themselves precariously placed at 50-7, before the pair of Nigel Deodat and Charles carried them to safety.

Sachin Singh topscored with 21, while Nicholas Ali and Sameer Ali both grabbed three wickets for the hosts.

In other matches, the Leewards defeated the Windward Islands by two wickets, their second win in three games, to climb to 13.2 points.

Guyana, which also has two wins, is close behind in second on 12.9 points after knocking over the defending champions T&T by three wickets.

Barbados is a distant third with eight points, while Trinidad by virtue of having a better net run rate then the Windward Islands is fourth, with both teams sitting on 7.2 points.

Jamaica, which is yet to win a match is sixth on 1.4 points.

In the latest round of matches, led by a three-wicket haul from Taeiem Tonge and a solid 48 by Jahiem Africa, the Leewards managed to overhaul the Windwards’ total of 146-9, finishing on 150 for eight.

Tonge finished with the impressive figures of 3-34, to help restrict the opponents who were sent into bat after losing the toss.

Jaylen Francis and Antonio Fernandes also chipped in, each claiming two wickets.

Keygan Arnold was the topscorer for the Windwards, blasting 37 from 34 balls batting down the order.

Arnold, the Man-of-the-match, returned to grab three wickets, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his side from losing.

While Africa was the mainstay of the Leeward Islands’ innings, he got good support from Demari Benta (39) and Kenny Sutton who made 27.

Barbados picked up their first win of the tournament by pummeling the hapless Jamaicans.

Batting first, Razaq Williams’ 83 helped to propel Jamaica to a respecatble 204-9 from their 50 overs.

Ramon Simmonds (2-30), Rivaldo Clarke (2-45) and Jamal Leacock 2-40, were the leading bowlers for Barbados.

Barbados, however, made light work of the target, racing to 205-4 in 44.3 overs.

Opener Rashawn Worrell made 69 , Rivaldo Clarke stroked an unbeaten 55 and Antonio Morris scored 37 to help lead last year’s runner-ups to a comfortable victory.

Results

CWI Under-17 Championships

Guyana defeated T&T by three wickets
T&T 65 off 26.3 overs (Dwaine Dick 3-16, Sheldon Charles 3-21).
Guyana 66 for seven off 20.4 overs (Sachin Singh 21; Sameer Ali 3-15, Nicholas Ali 3-30).

Leeward Islands defeated the Windward Islands by two wickets
Windward Islands 146 for nine off 28 overs (Keygan Arnold 37, Garvin Serieux 23; Taeiem Tonge 3-34, Jaylen Francis 2-15, Antonio Fernandes 2-19).
Leedward Islands 150 for eight off 27.5 overs (Jahiem Africa 48, Demari Benta 39, Kenny Sutton 27; Keygan Arnold 3-26).

Barbados defeated Jamaica by six wickets
Jamaica 204 for nine off 50 overs (Razaq Williams 83, Joseph Simpson 23; Ramon Simmonds 2-30, Rivaldo Clarke 2-45, Jamal Leacock 2-40)
Barbados 205 for four off 44.3 overs (Rashawn Worrell 69, Rivaldo Clarke 55 not out, Antonio Morris 37; Razaq Williams 2-29).

Categories: News

T&T’s Esdelle cops two Pan Am awards

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:38

Krystle Esdelle, T&T senior women’s volleyballer picked up two individual awards at the conclusion of the 2018 Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup Tournament in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Saturday night.

A former T&T captain, Esdelle, 33, was named as the ‘Best Opposite’ and ‘Best Scorer after she tallied 97 points over the course of the tournament, with a best of 25 in a four-set win over Costa Rica in the 11th spot playoff on Friday afternoon.

By capturing the award, Esdelle who plays professionally in Turkey, joined fellow national women’s team players Darlene Ramdin and Sinead Jack as national players to pick up individual accolades at a top NORCECA or Pan American Cup event, while Marc Honore is the lone national men’s player to have done so.

However, Estelle is the first to have picked up two awards in the same event at the level.

Lauren Carlini, whose wonderful abilities as a setter and leadership qualities helped the USA to win the 17th edition of the competition was named the Most Valuable Player.

Besides her plaque as ‘MVP’ Carlini received the award as ‘Best Setter’ while team-mate Chiaka Ogbogu was selected as ‘First Middle Blocker’. Colombian Melissa Rangel was the ‘Second Middle Blocker’.

Brenda Castillo of Dominican Republic was ‘Best Digger’, ‘Best Receiver’ and ‘Best Libero’.

Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic and Elina Rodríguez of Argentina were included in the All-Star as first and second ‘Outside Hitters’ respectively, and Kiera Van Ryk of Canada was the ‘Best Server’.

In the gold medal match, the USA came back all the way down from a 0-2 deficit to defeat host Dominican Republic 3-2 (24-26, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-8) in front of a packed house.

It is the sixth title for the USA in the history of the competition with the previous titles attained in 2003, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

The winners established a solid defence at the net which allowed them to score 17 blocks, including seven by Chiaka Ogbogu.

Aiyana Abukusomo-Whitney and Ogbogu blasted 27 and 21 points to lead the American attack (65-51) while Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington added 15 and 14 in the triumph.

Canada claimed its second medal ever after defeating Brazil 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-21) in the match for the bronze medal on Saturday. The Canadian squad had won also the bronze in the inaugural event back in 2002 when the competition took place in Saltillo, Mexico.

Colombia played Puerto Rico in a mouth-watering five-setter 3-2 (25-15, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12) to claim the fifth spot and the last ticket available at the Pan American Cup to next year’s tournament of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The second set of 78 points was the longest ever in the history of the Pan American Cup breaking the one established in 2009 when Puerto Rico won the first set against the Dominican Republic in Miami, USA back on July 3.

Categories: News

Fever overwhelms Wallace’s Swifts

Sports - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:36

T&T’s Samantha Wallace and the New South Wales Swifts pulled every trick in the book to keep their Suncorp Netball League Finals hopes alive but still fell to West Coast Fever, 68-74 at Quay Centre, Sydney, Australia, yesterday.

Leading for almost the entire first half and taking bonus points in both the first and second quarters, the Swifts held a four-goal advantage at half-time, 38-34.

But they were mowed down in the second half by the Fever juggernaut, marking the first time in Australian national league history that a team has scored more than 63 goals in a game and still lost.

The Swifts were willing and had the competition leaders on the ropes for much of the contest before the Fever showed their class as they grafted their way back into the game.

Star shooter, Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler was the Nissan ‘Most Valuable Player’, but she had excellent support from Nat Medhurst (13 goals, 30 assists) and Verity Charles (24 assists, one intercept).

The 24-year-old Wallace was heavily involved in the match in the first quarter, shooting flawlessly (13 from 13) to help the Swifts take a 20-17 lead into the first break and also claimed the first bonus point of the match.

The work of the Swifts midcourt made working the ball towards Fowler hard work for the Fever and forced them to rely on long balls.

It was a dangerous tactic, but Fowler showed her athleticism to reel in the ball after ball to cut the margin back to just one.

The Fever looked set to grab their first bonus point, until the Swifts scored the last two goals of the quarter in under 10 seconds to put their stamp on the match, leading 38-34 and claiming the bonus.

The Fever came out firing after the break, peeling off a 6-3 run to close the gap to just one goal. It was a goal-fest for both sides, with the match setting the season record for the most goals in the first half of any game played so far.

It was the Fever who wrestled the momentum back to win the quarter by seven goals (20-13) to lead 54-51 at three-quarter time.

A quick start to the final quarter saw the Fever began to skip away, pushing out to a 60-54 lead and forcing Akle’s hand, with both McCulloch and Haythornthwaite injected into the fray along with young gun shooter Sophie Garbin who replaced Wallace.

The Swifts fought hard and closed to within four goals, but could get no closer as the Fever collected their ninth win of the season.

Wallace ended with 35 goals from 40 attempts, Helen Housby 23 from 26, and Garbin, 10 from 12 for Swifts in a fourth straight loss to drop to 5-6 while Folwer ended with 61 from 65 attempts for the winners and Medhurst, 13 of 15.

Last week in a 56-66 loss to Giants Netball, Wallace had a match-high 40 goals from 45 attempts and Housby, 16 from 18 while Josanne Harten ended with 29 goals from 37 attempts, Susan Pettitt added 19 from 21, and Kristina Brice, 18 of 21 for the winners.

Categories: News

T&T a-calling Oistens again

Columnists - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:23

Given the substantial capital investment, over $28 million and counting as reported in the news media, what precisely is the Government’s true intent for this much ado, multifaceted structure/structures, the new Carenage Fishing Centre? Aspects of wholesale fish marketing incorporated with retail fish vending, provision of facilities for fishermen and a recreational hub for constituents/visitors, spouted off ad nauseam, as per Oistens.

The question so too, among past politicians, as to why, with the multiplicity of international and regional organisations/institutions having the relevant expertise and copious technical information to inform domestic fish marketing, this wearisome fixation accorded Oistens?

Granted that it may be the best to date that the Caribbean has to offer, cognisance must be taken of the fact that Oistens is essentially a fish market in the fishing village of its namesake and in a country where 12% of GDP is attributed to tourism. Thus, its international promotion to attract visiting tourists to its weekend fish fry. In light of other critical areas in local fisheries that impinge on domestic fish marketing, Government’s trajectory in modernisation cannot strategically be based on the Oistens model.

The facilities become operational in a week’s time, so stated the Prime Minister and already prospective fish vendors have reportedly complained about slow sales, while others expressed concern pertaining to the affordability of vending stalls. Thinking feasibility, how high is the probability of consumers in and around Carenage bypassing chilled and frozen supermarket products in their vicinity and unsuspecting regulars, customarily exchanging cash for fish of questionable quality at L’anse Mitan roadside fish vendors, now loudly registering stubborn resistance to any move, any change? In the face of competition, what is the practicality of Government’s intervention to improve sanitary conditions at the L’anse Mitan fishing depot? And from where comes this new stream of customers who are willing to transit a mile or so further into Carenage to support fish vendors at these new facilities, in anticipation of higher quality fish and more than likely at higher prices?

In this regard, apart from improved sanitary conditions, have best fish handling practices been instilled in all fisherfolk, including the Carenage fishermen, geared at improving fish quality assurance to guarantee a higher quality consumer product? As for the provision of cold storage and its history of early abandonment at other fishing centres, does the Government intend to militate against the same eventuality by diligently committing to bearing its high maintenance costs? Given the crime situation, other than villagers ready to incorporate weekend fish fry into their familiar street corner entertainment, is security to be beefed up to encourage patronage in like manner to Oistens?

Government has identified the Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute (CFTDI) in Chaguaramas to manage this new Carenage Fishing Centre. Having served in senior capacities at that institution, I can confidently state that the CFTDI does not have the capacity, experience or expertise to manage this new facility. The Government has therefore cast an added burden on the instituGORDONtion and its inadequate resources. Short of three months before the end of the financial year, 2017/2018, hopefully, with forward planning, increased funding was factored into the CFTDI’s budgetary allocations.

Management of Carenage’s new facilities demands stringent upkeep of sanitary standards, thus requiring regular inspections by relevant authorities. Moreover, it would be interesting as to whether a quick action plan has been devised to thwart wily fishermen hell-bent on re-establishing residences and dens of iniquity in storage lockers.

Granted the tourism thrust at Carenage, it would be in Government’s best interest to give consideration to what now transpires at the Port-of-Spain Central Market. Fresh fish marketing at the island’s main city market engenders realistic consumer/visitors’ expectations in respect of the provision of minimum infrastructural and sanitation facilities to stimulate consumption from local producers. Such basic logic is cast adrift at the PoSCM, where errant disregard for basics such as potable water and ice is the norm. Relevant authorities, namely the Port-of-Spain City Corporation, makes no pretext of regard for fish quality assurance, evidenced by apparent incompliance with any regulatory standards and presumption of enforcement disputable, notably irrelevant. A disaster in waiting in terms of food safety and risks posed to consumer health.

• Dr Ann Marie Jobity is a former Director of Fisheries

Categories: News

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