There is a lot to question as it relates to the treatment of sportsmen and sportswomen. Moreso the women. since obvious gender bias comes to the front despite the promise that ours is a progressive society.
T&T's 4x100 metres women's relay team returned from the World Championships in Beijing with a bronze medal and although it was historical – the first women's relay medal at a major championship, it has remained unrecognised, almost as if it was insignificant.
I have been patient since September but it has become rather disheartening with all the excuses. There can be no reason for this, other than share contempt by those in authority at both the Ministry of Sports and the Sports Company.
I expect to be told that there was a change in government and with that several changes were made and people were moved from departments and positions, such as permanent secretaries and chief executive officers. But that is not good enough. Efficient processes should apply no matter a change in personnel. It is called – Standard Operating Procedures. Therefore, it would not surprise me if these young ladies (Kelly Ann Baptiste, Michele Lee-Ahye, Reyare Thomas, Semoy Hackett and Khalifa St Forte) believe that they have been unfairly treated, and if they were men, things would be different.
Let us relive what happened in China. Read some of what was said and understand the pain and doubt about the sincerity of those that control the funding in sports:
"On August 29, T&T's 4x100 metres team made history, not once (setting a national record 42.24), not twice (eclipsing that record and setting another 42.03), and finally became the first women sprinters to win a relay medal in the World Championships, when they finished third behind Jamaica and the USA.
In a race that was started at quick speed, it was the leader of the team, the wily and experienced captain Kelly Ann Baptiste, that led from the front with a dazzling first leg.
"I definitely trust Michelle. I knew that once I held my own and handed over the stick to Michelle, it was going to be okay once they all got the sticks around the track so I just felt that the trust was there. We are comfortable with each other.
"Nobody doubts anyone's fitness and foot speed, so we were just happy to put it together because it is tough to run a relay when you have not been practicing so we came here since the 14th and we have been trying to work on our passes and I am just glad that it all worked out in the end," Baptiste told the Trinidad Guardian with a broad smile on her face.
Next to accept the baton at lightning speed was the energetic Michelle Lee Ahye. "It was a perfect hand off and I passed it off well to Reyare and then Semoy shot out and I was like ohhhhh ohhhhh!!!!," said Lee Ahye.
Reyare Thomas has a quiet look, but this talented daughter of the soil allowed her feet and brains to do the work on the third leg. "It feels great to know that we come out here with a medal today. I want to tell everybody who did not doubt us that we come our here with a medal and really happy that happen and we come out here and put on a show , and we were able to make T&T proud."
Semoy Hackett ran one of the best anchor legs, motoring down the straightway like an express train, and for a moment, just for a stride some of us thought silver was possible as Hackett soon made bronze inevitable. "I think each person held their own, and gave 100 per cent and our baton passing was good enough to make us come third because everybody trusted each other and gave it their best, and this team is going to Rio."
Baptiste added: "Thanks for those supporting us. I hope we are inspiring other females to take part in sport and seek to excel" remarked Baptiste."
As we talk about bonds and friendship, we must not forget the effort of Khalifa St Fort, who spoke after the semifinal heat. "I feel great, I am so happy that I was able to represent Trinidad and Tobago today. I had a wonderful time."
Final words on an historic day should go to Baptiste. "I was saying as I watched Semoy race to the line 'Lord just let her complete the job, it was amazing"
Indeed it was amazing and prayers do work, what is next for these young ladies will be up to the Association and their coaches, but there appears to be a bright future for these young ladies and with Independence Awards, just around the corner, who knows what else could be in store."
Trust is an important ingredient in all spheres of live but particularly in team sport. Without that, the essence of a team can be eroded and lost, so can these ladies now TRUST us in sports.