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A Christian thought for a young ‘Lyon’

Saturday, February 5, 2011
Former World Cup winning cricket captains, from left, West Indies’ Clive Lloyd, Australia’s Allan Border, India’s Kapil Dev, Pakistan’s Imran Khan, Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga and Australia’s Steve Waugh, pose for photographs during a function to announce a new marketing campaign “Lets Keep Cricket Clean” ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday. The 14-nation tournament, which is also co-hosted by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, starts at Dhaka on February 19. AP Photo

I had planned to respond to some of the people who wanted to find out from where I had resurrected after last Friday’s column which dealt with the Lendl Simmons/Clyde Butts standoff. But I’m afraid that has to wait. I have a more important act to perform—a Christian one at that. It has to do with the  Swimming Association’s unholy decision to nominate Cadell Lyons as swimmer of the year for 2010, instead of Christian Homer, at today’s First Citizens Sports Foundation (FCSF) youth awards. Homer, as we all know, won this country’s first gold medal at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games (YOG), which were held in Singapore. Lyons, from what I have been told, is a tiger at his sport - a wonderful prospect, dedicated young man with tremendous potential and quite deserving of all the accolades which have been showered on him for his 2010 achievements.

But even he must be embarrassed by his Association’s decision to nominate him as its choice for today’s event. Mercifully, the FCSF, has recognised the choice, quite rightfully as a farce, and has opted to correct it by adding Homer to its list. No one in their right mind could look back at 2010 and not conclude that Homer’s single performance on the Youth Olympic stage was the most outstanding junior sporting achievement in the country.Homer has already been recognised by both this newspaper  and the T&T Olympic Committee as the top youth achiever for 2010. It is when I saw Joseph Mcleod, vice president of the Amateur Swimming Association, trying to justify Lyons’ nomination with a  nonsensical argument, I decided to get involved.

McLeod says his council came up with Lyons through a process that relates to the senior Olympic Games. This system considers the Olympic Games as the highest level of competition, according to McLeod, but because the 50 metres backstroke in which Homer won his gold medal, is not an Olympic event, he was automatically disqualified from being nominated. Can any sensible person understand that logic? A young man, competing at the highest level of his game  wins a GOLD medal against the WORLD’S BEST, let me repeat—THE WORLD’S BEST, and a group of misguided sycophants decides because of some technicality, he is not deserving of being recognised. Does anyone remember anything else but Hasely Crawford’s first Olympic gold medal for T&T in 1976? What about Brian Lara’s 375 in 1994 or the Soca Warrior’s qualification for Germany in Bahrain in 2005? They were all historic and no one in a million years will ever be able to repeat what they did. Isn’t it the same with Homer? Who will remember what Cadell Lyons did in 2010 after today?

The reality is Homer has written his name into our sporting records. I am sure, having met him when the Guardian Sports Desk honoured him in December, he is not going to let McLeod and company impede his thirst to repeat his success at the senior Olympic Games. He is among the youth whose spirit and energy I admire.  They harmonise our nation. Homer, Bravo, Thompson, Lyons, Barath and all the others. When adults conspire to daunt their spirits with asinine arguments and decisions, we run the risk of not only demotivating them, but rob our nation of the vitality that powers our society in these extremely difficult times. Young Lyons must show how much of a tiger he is. He must perform the Christian act and give way to Homer. Tell them he is not interested in their nomination. Show them that young people can think for themselves and  will not be part of any decisions that may be interpreted as nefarious. Then he most certainly will have my vote for the FCSF youth award in 2011!


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