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Crawford warns volleyballers no shortcut to success

Sunday, May 11, 2014
T&T Olympic Gold medallist of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Hasely Crawford is swamped by members of the senior national women’s volleyball team after he delivered a “pep-talk” to the team at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Mucurapo on Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy Sean Morrison.

Hasely Crawford, T&T's first Olympic gold medallist warned the senior national women’s volleyball team that there was no shortcut to success as he delivered a motivational speech to the team on Tuesday at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Mucurapo.


The Francisco “Panchee|” Cruz coached T&T team, ranked 31st in the world left yesterday, for La Habana, Cuba to compete in the FIVB Women’s World Champion Third Round NORCECA Group Q four-team qualifying series involving the host, Curacao and Haiti from Wednesday until Saturday. 


The other Third Round Women qualifying groups are Group P (Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guadeloupe) from May 13 to 19 in Santo Domingo; Group O (USA, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras) from May 13 to 19 in USA; Group S (Canada, Mexico, US Virgin Islands and Jamaica) from May 14 to 20 in Canada and Group R (Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, St Lucia, Barbados) from May 20-26 in Puerto Rico.


At the end of the five round-robin groups, each group winner will qualify to the FIVB World Championship in Italy later this year while the second placed teams in each group advances to the final qualification round in T&T at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo from June 2 to 9. 


Crawford, who won gold in men’s 100m at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, told players that being a great athlete involved hard work, a good diet, plenty rest and listening to your coaches.


He said even when what the coach says may seem to make no sense, it was still important to listen.


He noted that the major sacrifice was being able to put your social life on hold. He promised that with those elements well executed their lives can change forever as his did. 


He said, “Wow! You ladies are beautiful with fit bodies, so the temptations will be there to dress up and step out", but he pleaded with them that," with hard work and sacrifice, the world will be their platform to have all sorts of exciting experiences if they choose to make the sacrifices and do the hard work now, not later, but now". 


He strongly stressed with fists clenched and eyes closed: “Take your body beyond as I did and you will be successful." 


Reflecting on his own sacrifices as an athlete, Crawford pointed that after the hard work, pain and tears, his life has been blessed and wonderful.


He boasted, “Being a disciplined athlete who stayed focused and worked hard brought me all the glory and good things life had to offer, which surpassed even my own expectations. 


Taking examples of other top local athletes, Crawford said, “Take example from your peers in sport, who are doing well currently, like Jehue Gordon and Keshorn Walcott. 


“Man these "fellas" set for life ", but more importantly check how they have stayed focused and humble.” 


Crawford also praised T&T’s Cuban-born coach, Cruz, his current assistant and fellow Cuban Idamis Gato, a" volleyballer" who represented Cuba at The Olympics. 

Tournament fixtures 


Wednesday: Haiti vs T&T, 3pm; Cuba vs Curacao, 5pm


Thursday: T&T vs Curacao, 3pm; Cuba vs Haiti, 5pm


Friday: Curacao vs Haiti, 3pm; Cuba vs T&T, 7pm


Saturday: Third vs Fourth; 3pm; First vs Second, 5pm