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John to lead T&T at Youth Olympics
National rugby player Kwanieze John has been selected as the Chef de Mission for the T&T team at the upcoming second Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China from August 16-28.
At a press conference held yesterday at the T&T Olympic House in Port of Spain, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis, was pleased to announce John as the first active national athlete and youngest in the history of T&T to be selected for the position.
He said, “It’s the first time that an active national athlete will be given the tremendous responsibility, opportunity and honour to lead a T&T olympic committee delegation to a major games. We are very confident that it is keeping with our emphasis on youth, our emphasis on motivating young women and young girls to be involved in sport.”
John, 25, who was the young ambassador for T&T at the 2010 games, is ready for the challenge. She stated: “It is an honour for me to be appointed Chef De Mission, as Mr Lewis expressed its a tremendous responsibilty and one in which I accepted with ease.”
The role of the Chef De Mission is to help the team prepare for the games, ensuring each athlete’s coach and manager is up-to-date with olympic information. John believes that her four years experience on the olympic committee will assist her with the role as Chef De Mission.
A team of 13 T&T athletes in six sports will travel to China in August. In the first edition of the Youth Olympics in 2010, T&T swimmer Christian Homer won gold.
One of top athletes on the current team will be swimmer Dylan Carter, who is coming off a successful season. Carter won silver in the boys 50m butterfly at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai, last August. T&T will also have representatives in track and field, beach volleyball, triathlon, table tennis and gymnastics.
Supporting John at the youth games, will be Jeannette Small, who will act as T&T’s young ambassador. Small’s duty is to get the athletes involved in activities, such as the culture and education programme. Small, who studied sports management at UWI, said she is looking forward to the experience.
Other members of the team includes Tracey Pierre, Asha De Freitas and T&T Olympic athlete Cleopatra Borel. Pierre will act as the sports nutritionist, ensuring a healthy diet for the athletes, while De Freitas will be the team’s certified athletic trainer, focusing on injury management and injury prevention. Borel will help in developing T&T’s athlete commission.