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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…
May 31, 2020


May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…

Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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Do not flinch in the face of adversity
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An open letter to sport BlackLivesMatter
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The As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tees (ANOC) World Beach Games is aimed at build­ing a new fron­tier for the Olympic move­ment.

Build­ing a new fron­tier isn't easy. Ob­sta­cles and set­backs are nor­mal and an­tic­i­pat­ed. The his­toric and in­au­gur­al edi­tion of the Beach Games in Qatar was de­clared open by the pres­i­dent of Qatar Olympic Com­mit­tee, HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani on Sat­ur­day.

The open­ing cer­e­mo­ny was de­scribed as im­pres­sive, last­ing for just over an hour at the Katara Am­phithe­ater in Do­ha and it show­cased tra­di­tion­al Qatari cul­ture.

The chair­man of the Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee Jas­sim Bin Rashid Al Buainain made the point that host­ing the first edi­tion of the Beach Games not on­ly brings na­tions, ath­letes and fans clos­er to­geth­er in sport nur­tur­ing cul­tur­al ex­change, un­der­stand­ing and har­mo­ny but em­pha­sised that the state of Qatar con­sid­ers sport in its var­i­ous forms, a pil­lar of its cur­rent and fu­ture sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

Over 1,200 ath­letes from 97 coun­tries are com­pet­ing in 14 dis­ci­plines at the in­au­gur­al Games which ends to­mor­row (Wednes­day). Eu­rope has the largest rep­re­sen­ta­tion with 35 coun­tries tak­ing part, 21 from Asia, 17 from Africa, five from Ocea­nia with 19 from Pan Am sports re­gion in­clu­sive of five Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tees (CANOC) mem­ber coun­tries. T&T missed out on qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The mis­sion of the Beach Games is to be a sus­tain­able, glob­al mul­ti­sport event that com­bines elite youth-cen­tric beach, wa­ter and ac­tion sports. The games con­cept was launched by ANOC in 2015. It is the first youth-cen­tric beach and wa­ter sports open to all Na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tees. While some of the sports are on the Olympic Games' pro­gramme, the ma­jor­i­ty of the Beach Games dis­ci­plines are non-Olympic events.

The sports pro­gramme is made up of aquathlon, bas­ket­ball 3x3, beach hand­ball, beach soc­cer, beach ten­nis, beach vol­ley­ball, beach wrestling, boul­der­ing, karate in­di­vid­ual ka­ta, sail­ing/kite foil rac­ing, skate­board park, open wa­ter swim­ming 5K, wa­ter ski jump and wa­ter ski wake­board.

Cred­it must be giv­en to the de­ter­mi­na­tion and vi­sion of Sheikh Ah­mad al Fa­had al Sabah, self sus­pend­ed as ANOC pres­i­dent pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of a le­gal mat­ter un­re­lat­ed to ANOC.

I am go­ing out on a limb to pre­dict that in the com­ing years the World Beach Games will cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion and at­ten­tion of the Olympic move­ment. For ANOC, it will be­come a flag­ship spec­ta­cle and as­set, for now, the crit­ics and skep­tics are many.

For the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) - an amend­ment to its con­sti­tu­tion to in­clude that the TTOC is al­so the T&T Beach and Sand Games As­so­ci­a­tion - is an ac­knowl­edge­ment that Beach and Sand Games is a key pil­lar of the fu­ture it­er­a­tion of the TTOC.

Even though two years of ef­fort to stage the in­au­gur­al TTOC Na­tion­al Beach and Sand Games is still to come to fruition, dis­cus­sions with in­ter­est­ed par­ties are on­go­ing.

In the mean­while, Spe­cial Olympics T&T (SOTT) Beach Games known as the Sea­side Games was first held in 2016 and has be­come an ea­ger­ly an­tic­i­pat­ed an­nu­al event on the lo­cal sports cal­en­dar. The fourth an­nu­al SOTT Uni­fied Beach Games will be held Sun­day at Las Cuevas Beach. Stay tuned as SOTT brave­ly goes where many with­in the glob­al Olympic move­ment fear to go.

I give cred­it to the Spe­cial Olympic Move­ment in T&T and con­grat­u­late all con­cerned (Pres­i­dent Can­dil­la Berment-Harp­er and her team). They will have ex­cit­ing news to share as they have picked up the chal­lenge of lead­ing the way for T&T to be the beach and sand games cap­i­tal of the re­gion.