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TTCB, Govt in cultural partnership

By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Saturday, January 5 2013

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THE final edition of the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament yesterday created a historic and culturally sound partnership between the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) and the government.

This was announced by several cricket icons and officials as well as government ministers at a special function held at the Capital Plaza Hotel, Port-of Spain, yesterday morning. The meeting, held just two days before the ‘Red Force’ take on Jamaica in their opening match of the tournament also revealed plans for the implementation of various cultural shows during the regional T20 matches at the Queen’s Park Oval.

Delivering the merger announcement yesterday were Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas, TTCB director Baldath Mahabir, TTCB chief executive officer Suruj Ragoonath, Tourism Development Company sport manager Manohar Ramsaran, Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford and several sponsor representatives from the National Gas Company (NGC), First Citizens Bank and the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC).

At the official opening of the regional tournament at 5pm tomorrow there will be several cultural displays and performances. The parties have also said that they will be determined to sell the island’s culture before, during and after matches, as part of its international marketing strategy.

With global coverage from world renowned sports television network ESPN, the cultural show by Trinidad and Tobago will boost the development in culture for the CT20.

“This is what I consider to be a great project,” said Douglas. He added “I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this event. When the board (TTCB) approached me about cricket and culture and cricket and carnival, I thought what a great opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago.

We should be able to bring our ministries (sport and culture) together in various types of synergies that are able to create that kind of power that is necessary to move our nation forward.”

He explained that if TT further markets its culture through sport and other means, the international benefits derived will play a pivotal part in this country’s tourism.

“We have a product here (local culture), and a lot people want to come and experience and purchase this product. People will not only see our great cricketers, but also our vibe. We are going to diversify this economy entirely” he added. Also sharing similar sentiments was minister of Sport Anil Roberts. He welcomed the sport tourism initiative and was certain that such colourful and radiant displays of our culture would indeed bring a higher influx of foreigners to the twin-island republic.

Roberts said, “The Honourable Larry Howai (Minister of Finance) has moved sport off the recreational part of the budget into the industrial development and sport tourism economic part of the budget.

Today is the first example of combination, collaboration, togetherness, effort, moving toward the diversification and increase of industrial power of sport and creating a sustainable industry in Trinidad and Tobago.”

While the traditional instruments such as steelpan and drums have always been an integral part of our local culture, the government and TTCB have also included a lengthy list of masqueraders, mas costumes, soca artistes and many additions to the CT20.

These performances and displays will be conducted at every match in a worldwide effort to increase TT’s marketing influences.

The PTSC has also come on board to ensure the smooth transit of all local and regional players and will also do their duty towards picking-up and dropping-off artistes and all other devices to be used in the many culture displays. First Citizens and NGC have also been devoted sponsors to the sport over the past years and were also proud to be on board such a diverse and detailed sport tourism initiative.

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