Sport is as much a national pastime as liming, and Trinbagonians are justifiably proud of their country’s sporting achievements, in cricket, track and field – and football, since the Soca Warriors competed in the 2006 World Cup.
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Cricket is a national passion in T&T and the source of much debate; when the West Indies team is playing, radios everywhere are tuned in, regardless of the Windies’ uninspiring performances of recent years. As long as you’re not foolish enough to criticize legendary batsman Brian Lara, the “Prince of Port of Spain”, mentioning cricket to any Trinbagonian is pretty much guaranteed to break the ice.
Big matches, from Tests to One-Day events, take place at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, and are great fun even if you’re not a cricket fan; soca blares in the intervals, plenty of cold Carib gets downed, and fans are animated to say the least. Tickets are available from the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, 94 Tragarete Rd, Port of Spain; those that like to party as they watch head for the all-inclusive “Trini Posse” stand (t622 2295, wqpcc.com). Match schedules are advertised in the media; for further information, contact the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board at Couva (t636 1577, wttcb.co.tt).
Football (soccer) is extremely popular in T&T, with fanatical support for the national team, the Soca Warriors (wsocawarriors.net) since the team’s spirited performance at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Major matches take place at the National Stadium on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain; for more information, contact the T&T Football Federation (t 623 9500).
Basketball is also a major sport, with US games screened regularly on TV and several local teams that compete in the National Championships. Games are held at the National Stadium – check the website (wnbftt.net) or Facebook page of the National Basketball Federation of T&T for more info.
T&T boasts some lovely golf courses, most with in-house caddies and clubs and carts for rent. In Trinidad, the best is St Andrew’s in Moka, Maraval (t629 2314, wgolftrinidad.com). The only public course is the nine-hole Chaguaramas Golf Course, Bellerand Road, Chaguaramas (t634 4227, wchagdev.com). In Tobago, there’s the pristine 18-hole course operated by the Magdalena Grande hotel (t387 0288, wmagdalenagrand.com) on the wind-blown Atlantic coast; and the eighteen palm-dotted holes attached to the Mount Irvine hotel (t639 8871, wmtirvine.com). All but the Chaguaramas course host professional and amateur tournaments. For more information, contact the Trinidad and Tobago Golf Association (t629 7127, wttgolfassociation.org).
Cycling is very popular; for details email the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (e[email protected]), or check their Facebook page. Major horse racing meets take place at the Santa Rosa Race Track, Arima (warimaraceclub.com). Highlights of the racing calendar include the Midsummer Classic, run on the first Saturday in July, and the Derby Stakes, run in August or September. Fitness freaks will find Trinidad well equipped with gyms (packed in the run-up to Carnival, so people look good in the skimpy costumes). Tennis courts are to be found at the Hilton, Cascadia and Crowne Plaza hotels in Port of Spain and the Mount Irvine, Turtle Beach, Crown Point Beach and Grafton hotels in Tobago; the latter has air-conditioned squash courts, as does the Cascadia in Port of Spain.