Former sports minister
“I am the lucky father of four beautiful children–Yeshowah, 15, a student of Fatima College; Em-Miryam, 13, who attends St Joseph’s Convent in Port-of-Spain; and Abba, 11, and Rukha, nine, who both go to St Monica’s Prep. I remember praying to God to give me healthy children and he did. I am eternally grateful for this and vowed to repay him by doing my best as a father.
I have no excuses as I only had great examples around me. My father, Deacon Michael Smith, has been the best in the world. He and his brothers (my uncles) all taught my brother, cousins, and me how to be good fathers. They showered us all with love and showed commitment and discipline.
While school is our number one priority, over the years we introduced the children to several extracurricular activities from a very young age. This was part of their overall education process and also for good health and balance. Music, acting, singing, and sports. Some of the sports included tennis, football, basketball, golf, water polo, table tennis hockey, cricket, and chess.
But it is tennis that they all gravitated to and loved the most. And while they still play basketball, football, table tennis, and chess, tennis is their #1 sport. They have all excelled in tennis, representing T&T successfully on several occasions. They have won several local and international tournaments and are highly ranked both locally and regionally.
We have travelled all over the world playing in international tennis tournaments. We ensure that we make these tours into a mini vacation as well. Seeing and enjoying the countries we visit. We go to museums, art exhibitions, schools, other sporting events, libraries, churches, zoos, restaurants, farms, markets, historic locations, water and amusement parks, malls, beaches, rivers, and much more. They have made friends from all over the world playing in these international tournaments. This is all part of their overall development. They are growing up so fast. I want to enjoy as much time with them as possible ensuring that they get the right skills before they move on as adults.
We have a very tight-knit family. I have a lot of support from my parents who have been there consistently to nurture, love and teach their grandchildren.
I have been remarried for some time now, and my wife, Kate, has been integral in the children’s lives and loves them. But, more so, they love her. While in life there will be challenges, I teach them to always remain positive, enjoy the moment they are in, and look forward and plan for the future. Time is the most precious asset we have and I believe it is not to be wasted.
Being a father, to me, is the greatest gift I have ever received. I believe God is the true definition of Fatherhood. I believe God is in charge of our future and once I keep God at the centre of my life and as the foundation of my home, He will guide me as a father and teach me how to lead my family. Happy Father’s Day.”