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Athletes need more support

Friday, August 3, 2018

Medal-winning performances by T&T athletes at the 23rd edition of the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) currently taking place in Barranquilla, Colombia, have been drawing praises from many quarters. However, as well deserved as all these commendations are, our athletes need more than talk and the occasional victory celebration.

By the time our sporting heroes mount that medal podium or take a victory lap at an international competition, they and their families would have made significant sacrifices of time, money and energy. Very often those efforts far outweigh the support and encouragement they get on the road to victory.

Entities, including corporate T&T, that rush to share in the thrill of victory when local sportsmen and women excel at regional and international meets, should also be prepared to invest in their preparations and continued development. Local fans, too, need to show more support at the community and local sporting events where all these heroes get their start.

Jamaica has become a dominant force in global track and field because of consistently preparing their athletes from the amateur and professional stages and they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel or concoct some secret formula to achieve that goal.

They have no advantage over T&T in terms of resources—just the will and determination to succeed.

In recent years, promising athletic talent has been coming to the fore, boosting T&T’s medal tally not only at smaller regional meets like the CAC but also global events like the Commonwealth, World Games and the Olympics. They are doing their part and the nation needs to reciprocate, not just with celebrations when they win but with funding, facilities and wider local fan support from the early stages of their endeavours.

It’s time for supporters, sponsors and even administrators—who all rush to enjoy the glow of athletic success—to be as prominent in the earlier stages, following the back stories that lead to sporting success.

Abundant financial fruit

A major milestone in global business was achieved yesterday when Apple became the first publicly traded company to be valued at US$1 trillion.

Such an achievement did not seem even remotely possible when the company was started 42 years ago by two mavericks, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In fact, it seemed a far-fetched notion as recently as 1997 when Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy with its stock trading below US$1.

Yesterday, however, the company’s shares reached an all-time high of US$207.05 and Apple is likely to break even more barriers under the guidance of current CEO, Tim Cook. Given the extent to which Apple’s iconic products and innovations have driven transformations in the local business landscape, the company’s historic achievement should inspire T&T’s current and future business leaders and innovators.


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