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From left, Mr. Patrice Charles, Director of Physical Education and Sport, MSYA; Robert Alexander, international announcer, Mr. Jason Fraser, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation, Mr. Herb Dean, world renowned former mixed martial arts expert and official and Mrs. Maria Burns-Ortiz, Chief Executive Officer of Seven Generation Games at the opening ceremony of the first ever Caribbean International Invitational Open Combat Sports Championship (Ruff and Tuff MMA) at the National Cycling Centre, Couva on April 28th, 2018

The first ever Caribbean International Invitational Open Combat Sports Championship (Ruff and Tuff MMA) kicked off at the National Cycling Centre in Couva on Saturday. The historic meet was hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation from April 28 to 29, 2018.

The event saw the largest gathering of fighters in various disciplines of combat sports, including MMA, Boxing, Sambo and Grappling. TNT contingent of fighters included the likes of Keron Bourne, the 7th best man in the World of Sambo, Gershom Griffith, 2016 Pan American champion with gold in combat sambo and silver in sports sambo and triple time champion-Joash Walkins and many others.

Representing the Honourable Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs at the brief opening ceremony on Saturday, Mr. Patrice Charles, Director of Physical Education and Sport said, “The MSYA is happy to see these types of events taking place, as it augers well for sports tourism and is part of governments’ mandate for diversification in Trinidad and Tobago. The MSYA will continue to support as best as we can.” He also acknowledged all the international delegates present and extended best wishes to the local and foreign athletes competing in the first time event.

Jason Fraser, Trinidad and Tobago Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation President thanked the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) for their support over the years and stressed that TNT is the fastest growing Sambo nation in the Commonwealth. He said from 2012 to present, they have won 72 medals competing at international championships such as the Pan American Sambo Championships, Commonwealth Games, President’s Cup and World Championships.

Also present were Mrs. Denise Arneaud, Deputy Permanent Secretary- MSYA, world renowned former mixed martial arts expert and official Herb Dean, Sergey Tabakov, the Russian Sambo Federation representative and Robert Alexander, international announcer.

The Championship brought approximately 180 non-national athletes, trainers, officials, managers, physio/medical personnel, media correspondents, scouts, etc. to Trinidad’s shores. It was broadcasted live on international sports television networks: ESPN, CMC and CBS, and live streamed from the event’s location at the National Cycling Centre, Couva.

The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs looks forward to continued partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation and all other stakeholder; as we continue to aim to be a dynamic, customer-oriented and policy driven organisation that brings all stakeholders together to promote development, total participation and excellence in sport.

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