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Let’s make 2014 a golden year for sport

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Things That Matter
TTOC president Brian Lewis, left, Dexter Skeene, CEO, Pro-League and Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Time Kee and president T&T Football Association at the NAAA annual awards function on Saturday. Photo: Sean Nero

Last Saturday, I attended the National Association of Athletics Administrators (NAAA) awards function at Capital Plaza. I am always inspired and motivated experiencing firsthand the passion and energy of the children, youth and young people involved in the sport as they celebrate their achievements.


Track and field is the premier Olympic sport in Trinidad and Tobago.It’s a status that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) can’t help but respect, recognise and appreciate. The TTOC would be disingenuous and dishonest if it were to look at the success of track and field at the Olympic Games over the years and deny to itself and others the contribution made by track and field to the T&T Olympic movement.


Track and field’s contribution to the Olympic, sporting, cultural and social landscape can’t be diminished or questioned.


No human being is perfect. It’s natural therefore that any organisation made up of human beings will not be perfect. All of us without exception can improve and do better. There is a tendency to allow the negative aspects to overshadow the good.


As we start the New Year, I urge the T&T sport fraternity, and more so the T&T Olympic movement, to focus on the big picture. Let’s make 2014 a golden year of sport, a year when the power of sport makes a positive difference, is visible and clear to the national community.


The contribution that sport can make requires the sporting fraternity to put aside selfish and narrow minded attitudes.


T&T sport should not be sending mixed signals. It is either integrity, honesty, friendship, fairplay and respect are unwavering values or not.


The capacity to make decisions goes hand in hand with self-knowledge.


Perfection is not of this world, but we must remain true to doing what we surely must know deep within our being is the right thing. It shouldn’t be a matter of convenience, fear or a lack of self-belief to accept, tolerate or condone behaviour that we know to be wrong.


We need a clear sense of purpose to help us focus our energies. We have to be smart, resourceful and committed.


An Olympic medal is a big deal.


For many countries it’s the true battleground and the quest for Olympic glory is a priority. Track and field will continue to lead the way for T&T.


I sometimes feel sport in T&T is like a game of Jenga. At the beginning of the game, the tower is relatively steady. Then by our negative behaviour and attitude we remove one of the stabilising blocks from the bottom of the tower to add something to the top.


The Jenga tower gets a little taller, but we have also made it a little less safe. 


Negative attitudes are like a game of Jenga that gets out of hand and fuels itself, taking more pieces from the bottom to add to the top of the tower. The tower’s height is significant, but its foundation becomes wobbly.


Eventually, one of the pieces that we remove from the bottom is going to cause the whole tower to collapse. And we never know which piece is going to do that until it’s too late.


If we want to build something lasting, we must build with solid principles and values.


When push comes to shove we have to start talking about what we believe in, what we think is true, and why. We have to stop playing Jenga with T&T Sport because one wrong move and everything will come crashing down. 


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