No chance at all in World Cup

Date Published: 

Without proper plan for sporting development in T&T schools

Alvin CornealAlvin Corneal

THE BOSSES of sport must know about sport, otherwise there will be no future for sport and sportsmen in Trinidad and Tobago.

Panellist Alvin Corneal told a gathering this last Wednesday night at a public discussion in Port-of-Spain.

Also on the panel were Carl Furlonge and Rawle Raphael with Roy Hollingsworth as Moderator.

The entire panel agreed with Corneal that Trinidad and Tobago needs a change in attitude if the sporting authorities are to be prodded into giving sport its rightful place.

"A howl goes up every time we discover the irresponsible use of financial resources in WASA or PTSC but not so much in sport."

Added Corneal: "Sport is regarded by parents, teachers, the Government and the general public as simply having fun."

The panel felt that the change in attitude meant seeing sport as a profession like medicine or law; it meant also sing physical education and play as necessary to the balance of the individual personality.

Sport, said Furlonge, moulded character. It was a leveller, an educator of the uneducated, a source of discipline; it taught you to deal with people. A true sportsman was better able to make a way in the world; but a great athlete was not the same thing as a true sportsman.

Rawle Raphael proposed that more agitation was necessary to bring about the change in the public's unfortunate attitude to sport. The NAAA had long been agitating for a Government White Paper on Sport.

Perhaps, he continued, we are now "getting somewhere" at last. "Many of the parties Manifestoes had paid attention to sport. The Unions must also be encouraged to bargain for better sporting facilities."

Considering where action should now be taken, the panel rejected a proposal that Trinidad and Tobago should try to motivate the people by "winning the World Cup" rather than by a long-term plan aimed at the level of the schools.

Roy Hollingsworth saw "no way in which we could ever win the World Cup without first reorganizing sport in the schools."

Trinidad and Tobago needs to give a higher priority to coaching, thought Carl Furlonge, to more coaching schools and to more employment of coaches in the normal school system.

Coaching should not be a matter of taking what scholarships are going, added Corneal. "We must decide what is useful to us and then we must have a system to make use of those we train to coach"


The panel favoured the writing of more books, drawing on national images and symbols rather than just buying English sporting publications.

There are too many Committees to get past, however, before a book can be placed on the reading lists of the schools.

Turning to the part played by the various sporting associations, Corneal felt that they were doing a good job so far as competition and participation were concerned. "But we need much more attention to planning and development for the future rather than organizing activity in the present."

The example of cricket was discussed where "Wes Hall had a big impact and we were up, and then Wes Hall went away, and we are down."

The discussion concluded on the note that planning called for detailed work by concerned individuals, for a clearer idea of priorities within sport and between sport and other public interests, and for seeing sport as a political question to be faced while making overall policy for an enlightened Trinidad and Tobago.

The panel discussion was the first in a public education series organised by Tapia Education Secretary, Lloyd Taylor. The series runs every Wednesday night at the Port-of-Spain Centre, 22, Cipriani Boulevard.