Wednesday 22th August, 2007


Change of best laid out plans

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Cheerleaders dance with an Olympic mascot between matches on the final day of the 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball Women's Challenger in Beijing on Sunday. The competition was a test event for the 2008 Olympic Games. –AP Photo

Ihad originally planned to write about the pathway to excellence this week.

The choice of topic came about after I read an article about the number of hours Tiger Woods dedicates to fitness training and how his commitment had paid off when he recently won his 13th major at the USPGA.

In the article Woods boasted that while others were wilting in the 39C temperatures, he felt fine.

According to poet Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and leave nothing but grief and pain instead of promised joy.

With the plans to construct the National Carnival Centre in start up mode, the demolition of the Grand Stand at the southern side of the Queen’s Park Savannah meant that a new venue had to be found for the Annual Independence Day parade.

No quibble with that. One did not need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. However one may have had to be a rocket scientist to foresee that the Harvard and Caribs rugby pitches on the northern side of the Savannah would be the new venue.

Rugby may not be considered a major sport in T&T, but rugby enthusiasts share similar passion and love for their activity as do football and cricket fanatics, to name two major and popular sports.

So you can well imagine the dismay felt by the rugby fraternity.

In my capacity as secretary of the T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) I was caught in the maelstrom. When called upon, I could offer no plausible explanation, made to appear clueless at best and grossly incompetent at worse.

The futility of the situation, compounded by the stark reality that given the perception of rugby’s status in the national psyche, the sport would most certainly not be allowed to rain on the twin island’s eagerly anticipated Independence Day parade.

The evidence mounted as neither I nor anyone else on the TTRFU executive for that matter could save face by claiming advance notice.

Pathway to excellence!

There is this small but annoying and mocking voice within that always seems to become most vocal during moments of self doubt. Pathway to Excellence! “There is no where to play rugby until after Independence, tennis courts have taken over and you are going to pontificate about Excellence” mocked the hitherto small voice.

The status and esteem of a Senior Counsel may be required if a disgusted, skeptical and flat out angry rugby fraternity is to be convinced that their beloved pastime is not the black sheep of T&T sport. Conspiracy theories abound. Some far fetched, others suffused with logic. But regardless of the preamble the conclusion remains - someone wants to run rugby out of town.

Pathway to excellence!

It is really proving a tricky topic. Here comes Hurricane Dean, an act of nature, mind you, to compound things. No promised joy that’s for sure.

The TTRFU men and women’s rugby teams journeyed to Cayman Islands for the NAWIRA Rugby championship which was cancelled due to the threat posed by Hurricane Dean.

Fifty two T&T citizens in total, many of them young men and women under the age of twenty-five representing the red, white and black now had to be to be brought back home ahead of schedule .

Armchair critics and alter egos always have the benefit of hindsight.

Mouse or man, unless I can read minds, predict the weather or the future, charter or manufacture an aircraft or dissipate a hurricane. It does not seem timely to talk about pathway to excellence.

On a brighter note, it is important that we all rally behind the T&T U-17 and U-15 national football teams.

While the U-17s will be battling in South Korea, the U-15s will be in action here at home. So there is no excuse not to go to the National stadium and support the youngsters.

Good luck also to the track and field team at the IAAF world championships in Osaka, Japan.

Since we cannot predict the future, we can only pray and hope for the best for our Caribbean neighbors who at the time of writing are preparing to face Hurricane Dean.


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