Sports > What about Track & Field

National Association of Athletics Administrations of T&T (NAAATT) News Thread

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NGC, NAAA announce $12M sponsorship
Friday, March 13 2015 (T&T Newsday)

NGC's vice-president of Finance and Information Management, Anand Ragbir, centre, holds a symbolic starting block with Ephraim Serrette, local track and field president, right, and Brian Lewis, head of the TT Olympic Committee, yesterday, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

The sport of track and field is to benefit from a significant financial injection over the next three years. The National Gas Company (NGC) has committed to contribute $4 million annually to the Athletic’s governing body, the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) from 2015 to 2017.

The announcement, made by the NGC president, Finance and Information Management Anand Ragbir, means funding from the State-owned company has almost doubled from last year’s input of just over $2.3 million.

Asserting that the company was “meticulous”in ensuring that funds donated through its programmes are used in ways to ensure the best return on investment, Ragbir added the NGC was satisfied its support fitted in with three of the four priorities in the NAAA’s 2012-2016 strategic plan. Those identified priorities were: improved governance, including accountability and capacity building among its member clubs, operational effectiveness and the development of corporate and other partnerships.
Ephraim Serrette, the NAAA president, said the three-year sponsorship would enable his organisation to better plan its programmes, knowing what they have to work with.

“In 2014 we were able to effect a lot more of our operational plans, based on what was set out in the strategic plan because of the intervention of the NGC to the tune of $2.3 million. In the past, we would have been planning with a hope of getting funding to do some of the programmes. It now leaves us with a better planning framework.”

Serrette added that targets set in the sponsorship agreement would provide the impetus to deliver and evaluate. “Our targets,” he said, “are with respect to development, how many more technical officials we are going to train over the next three years, how many more developmental programmes based on the coaches, programmes to deal with drugs in sport, all the different educational aspects of the sport.”

“We can now leave whatever allocation is given to us by the Sport Company towards team travel,” he added, “and the funding that we are getting from the NGC would deal with the administrative and development aspect of the sport.”

Yesterday’s announcement was made at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Among those in attendance were national icon Hasely Crawford, Minister of Sport Brent Sancho and TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis.


The National Association of Athletics Administrators and the National Gas Company have signed a three-year multi-million dollar agreement that is geared towards development and preparation of our athletes for major meets. Kent Fuentes has the details on how this extended sponsorship will impact track and field locally.


Boosting support
NGC to increase contribution to NAAA
By Mark Pouchet (T&T Express)
Story Created: Mar 12, 2015 at 8:56 PM ECT

The National Gas Company (NGC) is pumping $12 million into the National Association of Athletics Administratons (NAAA) while NAAA president Ephraim Serrette mentioned the organisation is to introduce a board of directors by 2016.

NGC vice-president Finance and Management, Anand Ragbir, made the announcement of the deal at the VIP lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday. It will see the NAAA boosted by $4million annually over the next three years (2015-2017).

The sum represents a substantial increase from last year’s deal in which NGC contributed $2.3 million to the NAAA.

The funds are targetted at a kids athletic programme—similar to the NGC Right on Track programme of previous years)—developmental meets, participation and representation for international meets (for example Penn Relays, World Youth Championship, Pan Am Juniors and Pan Am Games) and capacity building which includes coaching courses and certification, club administration and management courses and officials training.

“NGC is meticulous in ensuring that funds donated through our programme are allocated in such a way as to ensure the best return on investment. We are satisfied, in fact, we rare very pleased that our sponsorship is aligned to the NAAA’s strategic plan 2012-2016,” Ragbir said, adding that the NAAA plan describes three priorities which are a good fit for NGC’s policy.

Ragbir said the first priority is improving governance, which he says will take place through constitutional reform and accountability in the management of athletics clubs.

Secondly the NAAA members will focus on operational effectiveness by increasing manpower and organisational restructuring.

Thirdly the NAAA will move towards developing corporate and other partnerships, leading to greater sustainability and improved financial independence.

“All of these goals are being sought in the context of the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil next year, where we expect to see the fruits of our labours proudly on display on the international stage. No pressure,” Ragbir quipped.

“We would love to really thank the NGC for this intervention and I must say it is going to take us a long way , “ said Serrette, who had earlier recognised the NAAA for the First Citizens Sport Foundation Best Administration award. “The Association is on a new pathway with respect to restructuring and the whole reform of the constitution and to operate as a company, as a board and in order to do that you need to have some sort of sustainability to attract the skill set that would be necessary for us to function in such a manner. So an intervention like this over a three-year period would definitely be something good for the NAAA.”

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis hailed the relationship between the NAAA and the NGC.

Lewis noted that athletics and track and field had contributed 14 of the 18 Olympic medals T&T have won in their history of participation in the quadrennial Games. And the former Harvard rugby player suggested the sport had not been given its just desserts.

“Of the three sports that have guided this country to Olympic medals-athletics, weight-lifting and swimming, two have never had the opportunity to have a state of the art, world class facility and a training centre so that those sports could have built on their Olympic medals - weight-lifting and athletics,” he said , adding that the country also has not seen it fit to establish a galleria where T&T’s Olympic medalists and history can be seen.

“Of the 200-plus participants in Olympic history, over 150 of them have come from athletics and the question to be asked is why is track and field and athletics not given the respect it deserves given its Olympic record and track record,” Lewis said.

Track and field clubs were also given racing blocks, relay batons and stop watches as part of the NGC package deal.

NGC continues support for athletics
By Sean Nero (T&T Guardian)
Published: Sunday, March 22, 2015

The National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) is not a casualty of an investigation launched into the operations and spending patterns of state-owned National Gas Company (NGC).

Publicised documents claiming to show a questionable jump in the corporate communications department’s budget from $67 million to 200 million over a 24-month period and the subsequent probe into the matter by the Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, had not affected the energy company’s investment in sport in accordance with its corporate social responsibility mandate.

At a media conference on March 12, held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, Anand Ragbir, vice-president of finance and information management announced the company’s renewal of its contract with the NAAA amounting to $12 million over three years.

“Our local sporting industry refuses to rest on its laurels and we at NGC will not, either. We are holding further discussion with the NAAAs regarding a longer term partnership, in an attempt to sustain the progress it has made the past year and further strength the organisation,” he said.

“As such, we have agreed to contribute an annual sum of $TT4 million from 2015-2017. This money will specifically target the continuation of the initiatives from the 2014 agreement. There will also new initiatives, which include: A Kids Athletics Programme; Development Meets; Participation and presentation for international meets, for example the Penn Relays, World Youth Championship and Pan Am Juniors and Pan Am Games; as well as capacity building.

“All of these goals are being sought in the context of the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil, where we expect to see the fruits of our labours proudly on display on the international stage. Those of you who actively follow sport in T&T will agree that we are steadily working toward our lofty, but very attainable goals of a greater presence of T&T athletes throughout the spectrum of athletes. We believe this is in no small part thanks to the efforts of the member bodies of the NAAAs and your determination to bring 21 century thinking to the world of sport.”

Its reinvestment in the NAAA was a direct result of the tangible results achieved during a previous contract, which caused the energy company to deepen their relationship.

Last year, Ragbir said, NGC signed as a major sponsor with a $2.3 million contribution to the NAAA.

NGC, said the vice-president of finance, was meticulous in ensuring that funds donated through its programmes were allocated in such a way as to ensure the best return on investment.

“We are satisfied that our sponsorship is aligned to the NAAA’s new strategic plan (2012-2016). This plan describes their targeted state and identifies four priorities required get there. Of these four, we consider three a good fit for our support, as they mesh nicely with NGC’s CSI policy. The first of these is improving governance, which will be demonstrated through constitutional reform, specifically, accountability in the management of athletic clubs. In this vein, NGC has sponsored several capacity building workshops with the executive members of the NAAAs, aimed at equipping them with the practical and leadership skills necessary for this transformation. Besides the officials, athletes were also exposed to workshops that focused on a variety of themes pertinent to their careers,” said Ragbir.

An interesting side effect of the growing national interest in sport, said Ragbir, was the move toward setting the international stage in T&T, instead of having this country go to the world. In his view, the time was ripe to bring the world to local shores, along with all the positive economic ripples that such a sports tourism initiative could offer.

“No one can discount the benefits to be derived from supporting this association and athletes by extension,” said Ragbir.

“It is a rare Trinbagonian who isn’t filled with pride when one of our own achieves glory for our beloved red, white and black in the international arena. We love to see our flag flown high before cheering crowds, we love to see our country’s name in print, lauding our athletes; because with this comes national respect and national recognition.”

This is very encouraging. But it is the govt to the rescue, once more.

Serrette: Time for NAAA to change development systems
Published: Thursday, April 9, 2015 (T&T Guardian)

Ephraim Serrette, centre, president, NAAA, chats with Anthony Creed, executive manager, Sport Development, SporTT, left and Brian Lewis, president, T&T Olympic Committee at Piarco International Airport on Tuesday. PHOTO: SEAN NERO

Ephraim Serrette, president of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) says his executive plans to overhaul the development systems for athletes across four disciplines in track and field, namely hurdles, sprint, medium and long jump, in a deliberate effort to bolster this country’s medal hunt internationally.

He was speaking to the T&T Guardian at Piarco International Airport, on Tuesday, where he was part of the welcoming party which applauded the T&T 2015 Carifta Games team on its return from the 44th Carifta Games in St Kitts and Nevis with six gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals for third place.

Serrette, a former national athlete himself, said he believed that the move to overhaul various aspects of the sports had become critical, as the developmental regime across these disciplines was too adhoc.

With no clear guidelines in place, Serrette said, coaches had free reign regarding what benchmarks were used to nurture the nation’s athletes.

In order for this country to benefit from its investment in athletes, he said, a national quality control system was needed to match the jumps and throws events, which was already paying dividends.

“The time has come where we need to put our foot down where the national hurdles programme, sprint and medium and long needs to be introduced. The coaches need to mature and understand what we are doing and not just keep their athletes to themselves. We have to work together as a unit to produce our athletes to represent us on the big stage, he said.

Serrette lamented, however, that local performances at this year’s championships did not surpass the medal haul from the previous year.

“It was below our expectations. We knew we had a fairly–I wouldn’t say weak team–(but) it was a challenge for us this year…A number of issues. We only had four development meets, Carifta being early; the loss of use of the (Hasely Crawford) Stadium, which is allowing us to make decisions and plan even better for next year. Carnival is very early next year, so our developmental meets next year would start in November, to give the athletes more opportunities for competition. This year only allowed about four developmental meets and I think that is insufficient to guide us where the selections are concerned,” he said.

Stand out moments from this country’s athletes during competition at the Silver Jubliee Athletic Stadium, over the Easter weeknd, did not escape Serrette’s attention, however.

“Yes. Our under-18 athletes. We have a very interesting group of U-18 athletes. Some of the analysis that we are working on is our national programme–the jumps and throws–and we have seen results,” he said.

The NAAA head recalled the Tyriq Horseford record breaking throw in the boys U-18 javelin event and the champion performance by Akanni Hislop in the boys U-18 200m. Both athletes were from Tobago.

Serrette disclosed that before leaving local shores Hislop stated his intent to win the event and break the record in the process.

The Carifta record was 20.84. Hislop’s time was 20.91.

“I think that’s commendable. He also has another year competition in U-18 competition. I think he is someone we need to invest in because I think that out future,” Serrette said.


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