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08 June 2019 | in NUSF News

Trinidad & Tobago would love to host a World University Championship

Small history, but big plans for university sport 

 

PORT OF SPAIN – FISU Student Ambassadors Timothy Derry, Mancini Mahadeo and Reynaldo Christie recently visited Ian Pritchard, President of the Trinidad & Tobago National University Sports Federation. There they found that the organisation may be small, but it has big plans.

 

The Tertiary Sport Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TSATT) was formally established  only in July 2012, and became a FISU member one year later. In that sense, it is of the youngest member NUSFs of FISU. Currently, there are 11 tertiary institutions registered with the federation, which gives them access to approximately 30,000 students. They hope to register at least three more institutions by the end of the year 2019.  

 

TSATT plays a significant role in the transition of student-athletes from high school to university, sometimes resulting in national selection in their sport. Even with very minimal financial support, they are proud of the impact they have and are hopeful that soon enough, more financial support will come in.

 

Even with just 11 universities as members, getting their message across to all students has not been easy. While he stressed on the importance of social media, Pritchard also heaped praise upon the Student Ambassadors.

 

“The FISU Ambassadors, after returning to Trinidad, took it upon themselves to create a student database for persons interested in volunteering,” he said. “As an organisation, we are trying to become more active on social media and Timothy Derry has helped us in the operation of our Facebook page, for example.”

 

With the use of these social media platforms, TSATT communicates information about their tournaments, volunteering opportunities, FISU related events and also international opportunities.

 

One of their success stories was the 2018 edition of the annual Inter-University Football League, which saw a big increase in participation from both, athletes and supporters. During this League, they had a qualified female student referee officiate at some of the matches for the first time.

 

“This is testament to our commitment to gender equality,” Pritchard added “Gender equality is extremely important to us. We provide every opportunity to ensure that both genders are included in most of our activities. We will continue to make every effort to do so.”

 

In an effort to further develop university sport in Trinidad and Tobago, TSATT wants to increase the number of competitions and thus create a pathway for the development of more elite student-athletes. Increasing the number of registered volunteers for their programs is also part of the plan. They also hope to host a FISU World University Championship (WUC) event sometime soon.

 

“We hope FISU introduces a Cricket competition in their WUC calendar in the near future, even perhaps, by the year 2024,” said Pritchard. “We would definitely bid to host the first competition. We just concluded a successful World Universities Cricket tournament in Trinidad which saw teams from as far as the United Kingdom and the Unites States participating. We are confident that we can host one that meets the highest standards. Of course, if cricket is not on the cards, we are capable of hosting WUCs in Volleyball, Futsal or Netball also.”

 

One of the most interesting things in the pipeline is a plan to host a Caribbean University Track and Field meet. About this, Pritchard said “This event promises to bring together student-athletes from across the Caribbean to compete against each other. Over the years we have been blessed with tremendous talent here, in the Caribbean and we believe that such an event could help us to identify the next ‘Usain Bolt’ who can represent our region with distinction.”

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