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Sports Commentary: Trinidad hosts regional swimming championships
Published on July 24, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

cccan1.jpg cccan2.jpg
Young competitors at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship Games 

By Eve George

The Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship Games were held In Trinidad and Tobago last month at the National Aquatic centre in Balmain Village, Couva.

In an August 5, 2016, media statement, former prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar stated:

Sports is essential to national development, competing in sports requires dedication, commitment and regimented training. That is why when I was prime minister I ensured that my government devoted much of our capital investment to establish world class athletic facilities in our country”.

We built:

• National Cycling Centre
• National Aquatic Centre
• National Tennis Centre
• Siparia Regional Sporting Complex

The perception of most Trinbagonians was that former Peoples National Movement (PNM) prime minister, Patrick Manning, invited Chinese construction company Shanghi Construction International (Caribbean) Ltd (SCG) to Trinidad and Tobago. But managing director of SCG Michael Zhang, the man responsible for overseeing all projects in the Caribbean, was reported as saying in September 2014 that SCG saw an advertisement for the construction of the ministry of education campus in Port of Spain, tendered for it on the open market, and won the bid.

According to Zhang, their performance on that project was the very reason they won bids for other projects during the Manning administration and also under the People’s Partnership government under Persad Bissessar.

The president of SCG, Hang Yingwei, has stated that his company is 61-years-old, state owned, and the 13th largest construction company in the world based on revenue on Forbes Global 2000 list of leading companies.

SCG has built some of the most artistic, durable, imperishable beautiful structures our country has ever seen and because of them we have the luxuries of utilizing these buildings.

However, in June 2017, current minister of sport, Darryl Smith, okayed that the CCCAN games be hosted in Trinidad and Tobago. Something strange, seeing that it was the former administration who built the National Aquatic Centre. Most times in our country when a particular party is in power and builds or creates opportunities for the people, the next administration who replaces them usually downs and disables everything the former administration did resulting, in the people of our country suffering and going on the breadline.

One of the very reasons our country can never move forward. All in the name of greed, spite and ill-will.

It was a beautiful sight to behold on entering the National Aquatic centre and seeing representatives of every creed and race representing different countries around the world in our little twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

I felt honoured and proud as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago to be a part of such a historic event in such a beautiful, well crafted, world class building. I felt the need not only to praise the countries that came to take part but praise everyone who played a pivotal role in the creating of the structure.

My cameraman Robin Sankar and I were treated as dignitaries when officials learned that we were representing Caribbean News Now and came to cover the games. CCCAN official Yemi Ogunbanke was seen at one point holding an umbrella over Robin Sankar when rains started to pour.

Member countries of the Confederation took part and competed in water polo, diving, swimming and synchronized swimming.

On behalf of my country and my people we felt honoured, humbled and grateful to have hosted members of the wider Caribbean at the CCCAN Championships Games and look forward to future relations with those countries and others. Thank you to the present government for considering utilizing the National Aquatic Centre for such a great cause.
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