By Chantalé Fletcher
SPORT represents the hope of the people, as it allows them to dream, inspires and disciplines generations of people which increases productivity.
“Yet the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government has no plans, no money, no investment and no respect for sports,” he said.
This according to Opposition Senator Anil Roberts during his contribution to the Budget debate in the Senate on Tuesday.
Roberts said, “The PNM has fallen prey to the rope-a-dope and has totally ignored Sports as an industry, as tourism, medicine, marketing, media, merchandising, management, sports as a unifier and health and sport.”
He said that on page 107 of the budget, the Minister of Finance stated that the Minister of Sport and Community Development will provide further details on sporting programmes during the debate.
Roberts added, “I have not heard a whisper or contributions on sports by the Minister of Sport.”
He said, “The United National Congress (UNC) understood the power, magic and opportunities in sport, and therefore has accepted the challenge.”
Roberts accepted the challenge of carrying on the budget debate on Sports.
He said, “To disrespect sport is to disrespect all of the people. This PNM government completely ignores sport therefore it is clear that they uplift themselves while oppressing the people.
“Sports can go where politics cannot, this Rowley PNM has fractured our nation amongst dimensions of race, class, haves versus have nots, religion, and vaccinated vs non vaccinated, as those with natural immunity figure out where they belong in this society of manufactured and manipulated science.”
He reminisced to 2005, where the national football team was thousands of miles away in Bahrain, yet all of T&T celebrated as the team qualified for World Cup, and when Keshorn Walcott gold medal win in the London Olympics in 2012.
Roberts quoted Nelson Mandela, “Sport has the power to change the world, and it can create hope where it was only despair.
“However, in T&T sport does not have sufficient power to ignite the fire of love, care respect and empathy and patriotism in this heartless oppressive PNM government.”
Robert also made reference to other countries and highlighted how other governments respected their athletes.
He described it as powerful as some leaders would go to nefarious means to prove their country to be great.
Roberts used the 2014 Sochi Olympics as an example.
He said, “Vladimir Putin tried to show the world that Russia was still great and its economic and geopolitical position would be improved, so he created a plan to cheat to build into the doping control, a secret compartment which his KGB agents had invented a tomb to unlock the samples of gold medal winning athletes to replace dirty samples with clean samples just to present an idea of power in sports.”
Roberts said this proved the importance of Sports, yet in T&T, “We had to listen to three hours, thirty-eight minutes but get one minute and a half on Sports.”
He added that, “There was not one single former national athlete in the PNM Senate, zero out of 16, yet on the UNC opposition bench, we see two former national athletes who put blood, sweat and tears for this country.”