To show its appreciation for the contribution of the Sport Company of T&T (SporTT) to the phenomenal success of the T&T Red Force cricket team at the recent regional CG Insurance Super50 Cup tournament, which cannot be underestimated, the Azim Bassarath-led T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) on Wednesday hosted two leading officials of SporTT at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.
This was to officially express its gratitude for the agency’s crucial role in preparing the team for their unprecedented dominant performance. The support provided by the government agency, which is an arm of the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Youth Development was deemed as pivotal to the eventual unbeaten run of the team leading to its first regional title in five years.
Representing SporTT were Justin Latapy-George, the head of Sport Development of the Sport Development and Performance Unit, and Kairon Serrette, the head of Partnerships and Alliances as their chairman Douglas Camacho could not be present.
TTCB president Bassarath led a team of his executive officers including first vice-president Arjoon Ramlal, second vice-president Kerwin John, third vice-president Parasram Singh, and treasurer Sukesh Maniam.
Also present were TTCB operations manager Dudnath Ramkessoon and executive member Anderson Ramdath.
The Red Force was represented by senior team coach David Furlonge and manager Sebastian Edwards.
Bassarath said that the TTCB would have also liked to have Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe present but pressing matters prevented her from attending. Also unavoidably absent was the Chief Executive Officer of SporTT, Jason Williams.
The TTCB boss said that the SporTT provided the spark that was needed to elevate the Red Force above their opponents in the Super50 Cup through their provision of valuable funding to prepare the team in training and trial matches.
Particularly, Bassarath pointed to a late call to SporTT when team management identified the absolute need for additional personnel on the squad to bolster the fitness of the players which emerged as a determining factor in the Red Force’s unassailable charge to victory.
The importance of the additional staff including a strength and conditioning coach, a logistics/equipment manager, and a massage therapist added invaluable support for the team throughout the demanding campaign.
This was also stressed by team coach Furlonge and manager Edwards, who both had the distinction of tasting regional victory in their first outing as top Red Force team management.
Furlonge said that it was important to keep the recovery time of players with niggling injuries to a minimum especially playing on the bone-hard ground conditions in Antigua where the majority of the Red Force matches were played during the day in blistering sunshine.
In response, Latapy-George congratulated the TTCB and the team management for their outstanding results and gave the assurance that despite the challenging economic situation the government faces, the SporTT will continue to lend whatever support it can to cricket development.
Latapy-George said that the SporTT chairman Camacho remains passionate and committed to doing what is required to help the cricketers realise their fullest potential. The president of the T&T Hockey Board has an impressive background as a sportsman and administrator, as well as being an expert in the financial sector.
Serrette said he was surprised to learn that the Red Force broke a five-year drought of regional championship wins in the CWI Super50 Cup and promised that SporTT will aim to work with the TTCB on the same page to secure further success.
Also extending their appreciation to the SporTT was first vice-president Ramlal and treasurer Maniam who both concurred with the sentiments expressed.