The 23-year-old Walcott, who followed up his gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London with bronze at last month’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, was speaking at a Roundtable Review at the newly- opened National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua yesterday.

The Roundtable Review, which was facilitated by Rawlinson Agard, was organised by the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT ).

“In the past eight years, I have seen no development,” said a fiery Walcott. “Take my individual story.

I’m an Olympic gold medallist and in the (last) four years, leading up to Rio Olympic Games, I have seen no development, no help towards athletes.

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“You cannot tell me you want me to repeat as an Olympic gold medallist and I have not seen any help, any structure put in place for me to repeat,” Walcott continued.

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“So I don’t understand where you come and say that you want lessons learnt because, obviously, we aren’t learning anything.

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You’re not putting any structure, you’re not putting any development in place for athletes to move forward and for athletes to develop.

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“You always mention ‘elite, elite, elite’ but you can’t pick elite athletes from in the air,” a no-nonsense Walcott stressed.

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Walcott’s contribution was the highlight of proceedings during the event, which was arranged to give athletes and officials, who featured at both the Summer and Paralympic Games in Rio, the opportunity to air their views on TT ’s performances, as well as chart a way forward.

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Other athletes in attendance were sprinters Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Semoy Hackett and Kyle Greaux as well as shot putter Cleopatra Borel.

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Bledman and Callender both echoed Walcott’s sentiments about the lack of growth when it comes to producing future track and field stars while Hackett spoke about the lack of concern by officials during her recovery from a recent injury.

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Callender commented, “athletes have been going through stress year after year but it seems like only when we go to the Olympics then we get recognition.” Hackett, another veteran runner, stated, “I had an injury but I only got a call when it was time for trials to let me know I have to be there.” A host of sporting administrators were in attendance, including SPORTT chairman Michael Phillips, TT Cycling Federation president Robert Farrier, TT Olympic Committee (TTO C) vice president Annette Knott, president of the TT Paralympic Committee Sudhir Ramessar, and senior manager of sport and recreation at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT ) Daren Ganga.

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Sports Minister Darryl Smith, in his closing address, noted, “I think we just scratched the surface.

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This is the beginning of a bigger focal point, which is a pathway plan which goes into the development of sport.

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In terms of the numbers we had (today) we’re very thankful for that.” He pointed out, “maybe we’ll have follow-ups with smaller groups, so people could ventilate a little more.

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Hopefully in the next few months we can have a proper policy that we can all be proud of.”

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