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TTGF AGM signals new era for sport

Published: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The T&T Gymnastics Federation’s (TTGF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past weekend revealed the federation is breathing new air in its pursuit of a fresh start. Perhaps the biggest news coming out of the AGM is that the Lue Shues are no longer associated with the TTGF. The legal ramblings seemed to have taken its toll.

Both Ricardo and Donna Lue Shue have stepped aside along with Akil Wattley.

Sitting down with Guardian Media Sports yesterday, TTGF president Andy Gomez-Burke told us, “Because there is a legal matter going on, the two Lue Shues and Mr Wattley opted to step down until this whole legal scenario is over. It is very strenuous on them and the past board. It was just burdensome.”

It’s news that may not disappoint members of the gymnastics fraternity. Gomez-Burke has been in a struggle to save the sport’s face after a turbulent 2016 which saw Marisa Dick replace Thema Williams at the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances. Off the beams and bars as well, the cheque books were in disarray, with unaudited accounts for many years. That seems to have been fixed now.

Gomez-Burke was proud to say, “We have one year completed, and we have our last year which was done by our auditors. Sport [Ministry of Sport] will have two years. We have one completed and the other will be completed by January 3rd. I’ve already gotten the commitments from our auditors, it will be done, so next year this time they will have three years.”

The TTGF head said the AGM passed peacefully, much unlike last year. He says the sport had a ‘silent’ 2017 as it tried to reorganise itself, but he is targeting several goals for 2018. One of them is to make boys gymnastics more popular and to set in motion a process to get professional coaches to visit T&T to get our elite athletes the training they need.

Gomez-Burke spoke of his disappointment on not being able to send a gymnast to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next year, but he remains determined to develop gymnasts across T&T. “What did our past administration do to develop any athlete in Trinidad? None. Nothing. Zero. We are hoping that something falls out of the sky, but that’s not going to happen under my watch,” he said.

He says the federation is now considering options of coaches that can help T&T’s gymnasts get to the level they need to be at for the Pan Am Games next year.

After wobbling for an extended period, local gymnastics now seems to be balancing again.

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