Sun, Jun

RICHARD BRAITHWAITE, a former national team manager has credited former Managing Director of Trintoc, Wally James, for the successes of the Trintoc football team in the early 1980s.
The Trintoc footballers made a clean sweep of the titles available in local football, including a hard-fought victory over powerhouse Defence Force for the FA Cup at Skinner Park, San Fernando.

Over 10, 000 people packed the San Fernando facility to watch the memorable contest between two of the country’s best.

Braithwaite, who rose to prominence as manager of the Trintoc team and was also instrumental in the return of midfield maestro Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke for the Soca Warriors for the 2006 World Cup campaign, said James has been the man with the vision.

“While I had the honour and privilege to manage the Trintoc football team in its heyday, much of the credit for the team’s outstanding success must go to James.

“He is a man of great vision who understood the true meaning of the phrase ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ long before it became popular,” Braithwaite said.

According to Braithwaite who is now a business consultant, “I recall a meeting at Trintoc when the price of oil plummeted in the early 1980s and there was a mandate to cut costs.

“They were surprised when James announced that there would be no reduction on so-called PR activities because, ‘it is in times of difficulty that sport and culture become even more important because they help to maintain community spirit, build morale and inspire hope for the future.’”

The Trintoc team was one of the most successful clubs in local football history and comprised a number of the country’s top players.

The history of southwest Trinidad indicates that sport has always been a catalyst for social development and an important source of inspiration for the surrounding communities.

“It is a reminder that the wealth in this part of the country is more than oil and gas and it also includes the abundant talent of the people,” Braithwaite added.

“The challenge therefore is to establish structures and implement programmes to capture all this talent and take it to the highest possible level.

“In so doing we would preserve the rich sporting legacy of the early pioneers and ensure that their outstanding achievements were not in vain.”

He called on the energy sector to recognise the important role it has to play in the development of the twin-island republic.

“The energy sector, especially the state-owned energy sector, has a critical role to play not only in sport but in the overall human and social development of Trinidad and Tobago,” Braithwaite said.