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Roberts salutes U-17s for winning on ‘astroturf’

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Cheerleaders from the Chaguanas North Secondary School entertain participants at the close of the Secondary Schools Leadership Symposium hosted by the Sports Desk at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s, yesterday. Guest speaker on the final day was Sport Minister Anil Roberts. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER

Sport Minister Anil Roberts has described as tremendous the performance by this country’s under-17 boys’ football team which defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in Monday’s Group B Concacaf World Cup qualifier.


As a consequence, the young Soca Warriors kept their chances alive in qualifying for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.


Speaking at yesterday’s close of the four-day Secondary Schools Leadership Symposium titled No Pain, No Gain produced by The Sports Desk and held at the Cascadia Hotel, Roberts stirred the teen audience with his commendation of the performance from the young squad.


“Let’s salute our under-17 boys for destroying Costa Rica on astroturf because—for you all who don’t understand—playing football on astroturf and grass are two different things. Costa Ricans grew up on astroturfs. We only have one football field, which is Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya that is astroturf (ready) for football. Therefore, we are at a tremendous disadvantage, because the way you roll your foot on the ball, the way the ball stops, the way it bounces, the way you beat, the way you tackle, is all different from grass. So, for our young men to blow out Costa Rica which has 22 astroturf pitches, is tremendous,” said the minister.


Roberts was at the time underscoring the need for young people to go beyond the call in order to achieve convincingly. If you are supposed to do homework for two hours and you stop, that’s good, he said, because you would have done what you are supposed to do. But, he went on to explain that simply doing what you are told would not make you a leader.


Using the achievement of T&T’s own Dwight Yorke on the international football scene the minister said people look at him (Yorke) and the things he owns and desire to be like him because in their opinion, he is lucky.


What they should know said Robert was that, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Dwight Yorke not lucky! Dwight has God-given skills and he’s a Tobagonian who worked hard, hard, while all of us where liming and partying, he was with a ball in the hot sun whole day in Tobago.


“When coaching finish, Dwight Yorke with his ball; when school finish, Dwight Yorke with his ball. When Dwight Yorke in his bedroom, he with his ball and that’s why Dwight Yorke reached where he reached—not because he did what the coach said. He refused to stop when they said stop.”


Over the past four days, 300 teen participants benefited from a series of interactive sessions with influential sporting personalities such as legendary cricketer Brian Lara, multiple Olympic medallist Ato Boldon, four-time Olympic sprint finalist and bronze medal winner Marc Burns and Olympic cycling finalist Njisane Phillip and world boxing champion Ria Ramnarine.


Covering topics such as Taking Charge, Confidence vs Arrogance, Beating the Odds and the Principle, the gathering also heard from motivational speakers Don La Foucade and Joseph O’Brien, Kwanize John, Brian Lewis and Derek Daniel.


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