Kanisha Vincent wants to leave her mark on Trinidad and Tobago Rugby. Shortlisted for roles on the Selections Committee and the High-Performance Assessment / Talent Identification Committee Kanisha will have the opportunity to implement positive change and establish new processes for national team selection and player development.
With an MSc in Sports Performance and her position at the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), Kanisha is well-equipped to provide expertise not only from a sports science perspective, but also from a player perspective.
Picking up rugby as a secondary school student 11 years ago, Kanisha began playing at a club level, before working her way up to join the national team. In addition to representing Trinidad and Tobago, Kanisha also had the privilege of playing 7s with the ICEF OG’s in Los Angeles, representing the University of Portsmouth in XVs and playing XVs with the Harlequins in England during the 2017-2018 season, all in addition to being a part of the England Uni 7s team and Nomads 7s.
If appointed to these roles, Kanisha is hopeful to “create a multifaceted selection procedure, as well as, to increase the pool of rugby players across the sexes and all codes of the game. I also want to generally help change the perception around assessments”. These changes stem from her experience as an athlete, where there was always a sense of dread and fear surrounding team selection. “If I could get athletes to have a better relationship with the tools that are here to help them track their progress and get them where they need to be then that would be a success for me. I want them to think of performance analysis as just another facet of being an athlete and an objective measure that helps provide feedback on their current training practices etc. I want them to think that it helps and can provide insight to improve themselves going forward.”
However, Kanisha points out that it’s important to recognize that while these roles will intersect, they serve separate purposes. “The selections committee is important because it provides an objective approach to selecting athletes to train with the national teams, as well as, making the final selection to be able to travel and play at tournaments. I think the talent identification role is important because our pool of players is small. A larger pool of people would breed a more competitive atmosphere among club teams and national selection. Greater numbers and more formidable competition will only help us to hone our skills and do better. I don’t see how we can lose with that. In terms of what it means to TT Rugby, I think most people understand the importance of these roles and see the benefit that we could gain from them. If programs and policies are implemented in a way that complements our brand and style of rugby, we could see the game steadily growing and the standard continually improving. We want our athletes to be able to be competitive at the highest level.”
Through the Selection Committee, Kanisha hopes to establish the expectations of potential national athletes, by clearly defining the requirements of the national team. When it comes to talent identification, utilizing her expertise and experience from SporTT, she hopes to implement a holistic approach, specifically focusing on physical attributes, psychological tools, and the skill-set of the athlete, from within or outside the sport. “Appointment to these roles would really mean a lot to me. As a player, I’ve been on one side of the equation here, then I did my MSc in Sports Performance and I’m now having a look from a different perspective. I love the science of sport and I’d really like to bring that to TT Rugby.”