National Association of
of Trinidad and Tobago
Ato Boldon Stadium
Trinidad and Tobago
PO Box 605, Port of Spain
Affiliated to IAAF
3 September 2013
Request for meeting with Minister of Sport
Great concern has been expressed by Minister Anil Roberts over recent incidents involving the
withdrawal of two of Trinidad and Tobago’s top female athletes from the recently concluded
IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The Minister is also on public record making very
damning comments about the leadership of the National Association of Athletics
Administrations (NAAA) and has indicated that he was awaiting a report on the matter.
Notwithstanding that the matter pertaining to Semoy Hackett is currently before the Court of
Arbitration in Sport (CAS) and is still to be arbitrated upon, the Association sought to arrange a
meeting with the Minister to share information on the issue.
The following provides a timeline of communication between the Association and the office of
the Minister of Sport over the last week:
• Friday 23rd August – Letter requesting a meeting with the Minister of Sport prepared
• Monday 26th August – Letter delivered to Ministry of Sport by courier.
• Thursday 29th August – Letter dated Sunday 25th August, signed on behalf of the
Permanent Secretary (Ag), Ministry of Sport, addressed to the President of the NAAA
requesting “a report on the matter relative to Semoy Hackett” matter” received.
At 4:04 p.m., President of NAAA, Mr Ephraim Serrette contacted the Minister’s
Secretary as follow-up to the letter requesting the meeting. The Minister’s Secretary
indicated that she had no knowledge of the request but would inquire about it.
She later contacted the president at 5:50 p.m. and advised that the Minister had arranged
a meeting for the next morning, Friday 30th August at 10:00 a.m.
Concerns were raised over the short notice, since NAAA’s team comprising
approximately six (6) persons needed to be informed and given that the members are all
otherwise employed, such an impromptu meeting would have been difficult.
Up to that time there was no acknowledgement of the initial letter sent to the Minister.
• Friday 30th August – The Minister’s Secretary was contacted at 8:26 a.m. to inform her of
the challenges experienced in getting NAAA’s team together for the 10:00 a.m. meeting
and requesting that the meeting be rescheduled.
It was therefore quite a surprise to learn subsequently that the Minister and his team were
disappointed by the non-appearance of the NAAA members and further that the Association was
The work of the Association, like that of many other sporting organisations, is facilitated through
volunteers many of whom are otherwise employed and, given the short notice, it was not
possible to pull together a team. This reservation was conveyed at the very onset. While we
regret the situation that arose, efforts were made both on Thursday and early on Friday to avoid
such an outcome.
Notwithstanding the frequent disparaging remarks made by the Minister about the Executive of
the Association, we remain committed to the development of track & field in Trinidad and
Tobago. In this regard, we are willing to meet, albeit with reasonable notice, to discuss any and
all matters pertaining to the sport.