There are a large number of sincere, honest and hardworking volunteers in T&T sport, who have no mercenary inclinations.
Yet the potential benefit that local sport can gain from their dedication is overshadowed by insincere individuals. Two simple words: Honesty and integrity. We need to be able to watch each other eye ball to eye ball and say what you are doing is so wrong you need to stop doing it now. We need to speak the truth to each other and not hide behind false smiles and gestures.
The lack of honesty and integrity is destroying young talented lives and it is not good enough to justify it away by the foolish thought that we can’t save everyone. The aim should be that not one child, not one teenager, not one young adult, no one should be left behind in the local sport ecosystem. Utopian and idealistic as it may seem, this is not about the petty foolishness of who control the resources. We need to be honest and we need to have integrity.
Opening old wounds and rehashing past issues and awakening sleeping demons will make no difference to the present.
But don’t fool yourself present thoughts and actions cast the reality of tomorrow. Today is history and can’t be changed. But we can’t keep repeating history or doing and thinking the same way. The question that we must answer is not what to do but what to think. We must examine the thought processes that led us to this point. Sustainable development and a strong foundation begin from the bottom up. But committing to bottom up requires honesty and integrity. That’s the problem- they are both in short supply. The truth the whole truth and nothing else but the truth so help me God- truer words have never been spoken. The truth is the bedrock of good leadership and good governance. Even though it may haunt or hurt in the short term. Trusting people with the truth is the only way to move forward. It’s impossible to leave a positive legacy on a foundation of deceit. Book smart and street stupid that’s how it comes across when people take one size fit all solutions and apply them across the board. The problem is compounded when this simplistic approach is agreed to and implemented without deep thought.
How then do we get the youth of this nation to believe that there is no limit to what faith and hard work can achieve. Can they trust today’s leaders? How do we nurture and foster the spirit of volunteerism that is needed? Those of us who are deeply involved in sport know that through sport we interact with the unwanted, the unloved and the uncared for that through sport a message of hope is spread. Money can provide the means but not the skills, power but not meaning. Nothing good will come out of divisive thinking and deceitful actions. Let’s not have convenient conversations where we are playing a game of chess with each other. Let’s not be convenient with the truth. Let’s not spread propaganda and lies. Let’s not tolerate or accept those who have ulterior motives. The more head games we play, the less chance we have of moving forward. It’s easy to become tired of the tomfoolery and to give in to cynicism. Nothing can justify sacrificing principles and values. This is Olympic Week. Olympic Day will be celebrated on Saturday (June 23) and it’s always eagerly anticipated by the schools and young participants involved in the various TTOC programmes. Today is also Labour Day. It would be remiss of this column not to acknowledge an important national celebration.
Brian Lewis is the Honorary Secretary General of the T&T Olympic Committee http// www.ttoc.org. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC.