TWENTY-NINE coaches and other individuals involved in sport and the development of local athletes will today conclude their participation in a two-day workshop on concepts and approaches to improving athletic performance. The exercise, a collaboration between the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and BPTT, is being run by the US-based Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) organisation, and is taking place at Olympic House in Port of Spain.

Tied to the TTOC’s drive to achieve ten Olympic gold medals by 2024, the workshop, the third of its kind, has as its theme “Perfecting Performance-Striving for Excellence-Faster, Stronger, Higher.”

Drew Coffee, one of two MJP facilitators, is on his third such mission to TT; he explained MJP’s role as one of exposing the participants to new approaches and ideas.

“It’s just about revamping the coaches, enhancing it, not necessarily changing it,” the former Abilene Christian University football player told Newsday. He added that he expects the workshop will serve to “expose a systematic approach to training, and overall, improve athleticism.”

Having done two previous stints in TT in 2014, Coffee observed the approach to preparation and training is not nearly as intense as what is the norm in the US. “Ideally, if you’re talking TT and the Carnival season is approaching, you can see that there’s a high-performance mentality toward getting ready for Carnival,” he argued. “So if we could just use some of that same mentality to, not necessarily train, but drag that into sport, I think that would help reach our goal of ten gold medals by 2024.”

Coffee’s co-facilitator, MJP’s Global Performance Director Lance Walker could not make the trip; yesterday, Walker delivered an online presentation on the qualities a coach ought to possess.

Coffee, a Regeneration and Recovery Specialist, said it was not that MJP had it all figured out. “There are certain things that people are not gonna agree with,” he admitted. “But exposing them to what we deal with is a big thing, because then you can now take that back with you to whatever athletes you’re working with, you can share that with them, with other coaches in the field on the island.”

The participating group includes Gerard Franklin and Kelton Thomas of Tobago, as well as representatives from Volleyball, Swimming, Gymnastics, Hockey, Cycling and Tack and Field, as well as Shayne Cooper, a strength and conditioning coach who underwent three months of training at the MJP Centre. While the workshop ends today, Coffee will remain in TT until June 6, conducting associated work, including practical sessions and spreading the gospel of high-performance culture and training.


The 3rd BpTT Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) Workshop got underway today at Olympic house, 121 Abercromby Street Port of Spain. Amongst the twenty nine (29) participants are two representatives from Tobago, Gerard Franklin and Kelton Thomas. In addition, Shayne Cooper, strength and conditioning coach who spent three (3) months at the Michael Johnson Performance Centre.


To kick start the workshop, participants received a welcome from TTOC President, Brian Lewis, followed by a lecture by Global Performance Director, Lance Walker via an online conference.


The 2015 workshop theme is “Perfecting Performance – Striving for Excellence – Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Participants are gaining knowledge from performance specialists, Lance Walker & Drew Cuffee.


“A very good reminder of the things we need to change in order for us to be game changers” were the thoughts of Gregory Seale, Fitness Trainer at Movement Mechanics.


Participants in the workshop include:


Nicole Fuentes (TT Gymnastics Federation), Sean Morrison (TTVF), Gerard Franklin (Tobago), Mark Alexis (Tsunami Swim Club), Rheeza Grant (TTVF), Brij Parasnath (Caribbean Sport Specialists), Shurland Hartley (West Penn Athletics), Claire Orr (TTCF), Roger Frontin (TTCF), Edward Marchan (Paralympics), Josiah Morales (Eagles Aquatics), Curtis George (West Penn), Jenelle Nedd (MOS/NAAA), Ronald Rogers (UTT/TTCB), Kiron Simmons (UTT), Angel Ottley (UTT), Reynold Lovell (UTT), Shayne Cooper (NAAA), Rodney Liverpool (TTDF), Terron Abner (Marabella Family Crisis Centre), Jo-Ellen Redhead (MOS), Antonia Burton (NAAA), Gregory Seale (Movement Mechanics), Ashlee Alonso (Movement Mechanics), Courtnee-Mae Clifford (TTVF), Nataki Akii-Bua (Ventures Hockey Club), Pau Voisin (NAAA), Colin Syriac ( Bike Smith Cycling Club) and Kelton Thomas (TTBBFF).


The group present for the workshop consists of various professionals in the field of strength and conditioning, sport medicine, fitness trainers, coaches and athletes.


The high performance workshop will conclude today (12th May 2015).

This country’s “Calypso netballers” will be aiming to end their Tri-Series against host England on a high when they face off in the third and final Test at Echo Arena, Liverpool, from 7.15 pm (2.15 pm TT time)  this afternoon.

The world third ranked England has already wrapped up the series against the ninth rated T&T having won the first two matches, 65-42 on Wednesday in Somerset and then, 67-42 on Friday in London.

Following today’s match, both teams will head to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Netball Europe Ranking Competition and Open Championship, May 14-17.

That tournament will feature the host, Scotland, Wales, England, T&T and fellow guest team South Africa.

The quartet of Gibraltar (#34), Ireland (#28), Malta (#36) and Switzerland (#30) will compete in a rankings round-robin tournament.

The tournament in Belfast will serve as the last real test for T&T ahead of the 14th Netball World Cup in Sydney Australia, from August 7-16

The “Calypso Netballers” who won the world title in 1979 jointly with Australia and New Zealand will come up against the top two teams in the world, host Australia and New Zealand in Pool A as well as Caribbean rivals Barbados in round-robin play in Australia.

Pool B of the 2015 Championship features world third and fourth ranked teams, England and Jamaica as well as Scotland and Samoa, while Malawi, South Africa, Singapore and Sri Lanka comprise Pool C, and the quartet of Fiji, Wales, Uganda and Zambia make up Pool D with the matches carded for the 21,000 seat Allphones Arena (formerly known as the Sydney SuperDome and Acer Arena), Sydney Olympic Park.


Ruebin Walters captured the men’s hurdles double at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, in Arizona, USA, on Thursday.

Walters clocked 14.09 seconds to strike gold in the 110 metres hurdles. The Central Arizona College freshman was also triumphant in the 400m hurdles, getting home in 53.82.

Another Trinidad and Tobago/Central Arizona athlete, Hezekiel Romeo grabbed gold in the men’s shot put with a 17.60 metres throw.

At the Northern California Community College Championships, T&T/College of the Sequoias athletes, Theon Lewis and Ohdel James finished one-two in the men’s 400m final. Lewis clocked 47.53 seconds, while James got to the finish line in 47.65.

Lewis bagged bronze in the 200m in 21.58 seconds. And in the men’s 100m final, Ashron Sobers (10.70) and Holland Cabara (10.88) were seventh and 10th, respectively.

In Michigan, Tiffin University freshman Kevin Roberts produced a personal best effort of 15.00m to capture the Hillsdale Classic men’s triple jump title.

At the Georgian Court Last Chance Meet, in New Jersey, Odou Hazel clocked 48.42 seconds to seize silver in the men’s 400m.

In Maryland, Haysean Cowie-Clarke finished seventh overall in the Don Webster Invitational men’s 100m preliminaries in 11.08 seconds, the Coppin State University student earning a lane in the final. Cowie-Clarke, however, did not face the starter in the championship race.

At the Southland Conference Championships, in Louisiana, Sterlen Paul returned a time of one minute, 53.94 seconds to finish 10th overall in the qualifying round of the men’s 800m event. The top eight advanced to the final. And in the men’s 400m, Paul’s Abilene Christian University teammate, Osei Alleyne-Forte was 18th overall in 48.56 seconds.

The 2015 Arima Invitational Games ended in anticlimactic fashion at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, yesterday.
The main event on the programme was the women’s 200 metres, featuring Semoy Hackett in her first race since completing a 28-month doping ban on April 30. But with natural light fading fast, and no sign of the floodlights coming on, completing the 33-event programme following a late start was always going to be a challenge.
The announcer called the names of the sprinters expected to the face the starter in the women’s half-lap. Included among them was Hackett. But the anticipation was short-lived. At 6.38pm, with the stadium enveloped in darkness, Games chairman Ainsley Armstrong informed the crowd that the rest of the meet had been cancelled.
No women’s 200m. No Semoy Hackett comeback race.
“I understand for the last five-six years,” Armstrong told the Express, “there haven’t been lights at the Larry Gomes Stadium. And that is sad, that every sporting activity in Arima has to finish by 5.30. Next year I have to make the adjustments to start the meet at one o’clock so we wouldn’t have that light issue.
“I really wanted to see Semoy run,” Armstrong lamented.
Before the lights—or lack of lights—brought the curtain down on the Games, St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Brijesh Lawrence emerged as champion in the men’s 100m dash.
Halfway through the century, Lawrence and Barbadian Ramon Gittens were tussling for the lead. It was Lawrence who had the edge on the day, taking the title in 10.20 seconds. Gittens got to the line in 10.24 to claim silver.
T&T’s 2002 100m world junior champion and 2003 IAAF World Championship silver medallist in the same event, Darrel Brown battled to the line, but was unable to challenge the top two, and had to settle for bronze in 10.32 seconds.
Gloria Asumnu captured the women’s 100m title. Asumnu stamped her class early-on, taking the lead in the eight-woman race. The Nigerian sprinter stayed well in front of her rivals to secure a comfortable victory in 11.44 seconds.
T&T’s Kamaria Durant was next best, the 2014 IAAF World Relays 4x100m bronze medallist earning Arima Invitational Games silver in 11.60. Jamaican Audrea Segree clocked 11.68 to take home bronze.
Jernail Hayes was the class of the women’s 400m field, winning in 53.33 seconds, from her fellow-American, Brandi Cross (54.01). Bronze, meanwhile, went to T&T’s Romona Modeste, in 55.09.
For three-quarters of the race, Modeste was very competitive. On the home straight, though, she faded out of contention. In stark contrast, Hayes finished strong, storming to an impressive victory.


TRINIDAD and Tobago’s men struck gold when the curtain fell on the first-round Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) men’s beach qualifying tournament for next year’s Olympic Games yesterday at Saith Park, Chaguanas.
The hosts defeated Jamaica 2-1 in the gold-medal match to be crowned beach volleyball champions of the Caribbean, after their men and women swept the indoor titles in the Caribbean Championships at home in August last year.
The only senior CAZOVA title that T&T do not hold is the women’s beach crown as the two pairs (Apphia Glasgow,La Teisha Joseph and Elki Philip,Shenelle Gordon) claimed the bronze when Jamaica edged Cayman Islands for the title in the women’s first-round Olympic qualifier the weekend before in Jamaica.
T&T were the top-ranked of the 14 countries involved in the men’s tournament, mainly because of Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams.
And the “Toco Boys” proved without a shadow of a doubt that they are head and shoulders above the rest by not dropping a single set over the three days, just as they had done in all ten local tournaments at the same venue this season.
With the gold-medal match deadlocked at 1-1, Williams and Whitfield defeated Mark Lewis and Ryck McKenzie 15-12 in the “golden set” decider to gain revenge as Jamaica had taken down T&T in the women’s semis the week before.
Lewis and McKenzie had forced the decider by beating Tevin Joseph and Josiah Eccles 21-15, 21-13, after Whitfield and Williams had drawn first blood for the hosts with a 21-10, 21-15 triumph over Donovan Richards and Christopher Richards.
T&T coach David Thomas stated: “As we planned before the tournament started, our aim was to get to the second phase of qualification by taking gold and showing that we are the top team in the Caribbean, and we proved that here today”.
Earlier in the day, the ‘Toco Boys” cruised past Carlos Rosa Jr and Edward Peter Jr 21-13, 21-8 while Eccles and Joseph defeated Bradley-Reading Connor and Gustavo Cintron 21-16, 21-18 in T&T’s 2-0 triumph over the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in the semi-finals.
The Jamaicans also did not drop a set as they dismissed Curacao for the other place in the title match.
The USVI were forced to default the first match in the bronze-medal contest because Rosa Jr was suffering with heat exhaustion and they ended up being edged 2-1 by Curacao.
The Barbadians ended up fifth after Elwyn Oxley and Daran Gill edged Roberto Joval and Eurwin Daansi of Suriname 15-12 in a “golden set.”
As was the case with the women, the top six countries advanced to do battle against the top six from the Eastern Caribbean Zonal Association (ECVA) region in a few months in the second round of regional qualifying.
There are four rounds of qualifying in the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) region for the Olympics.
T&T, Jamaica, Barbados, Suriname and USVI advanced from both the men’s and women’s tournaments to the second stage. Silver-medallists Cayman Islands picked up the other spot for the women and bronze-medallist Curacao clinched the other place for the men.