Former T&T World Cup goalkeeper Neil "Shaka" Hislop urged members of the Flying Fish Swimming Club to dream so big that people will laugh.
A former Newcastle United goalkeeper in the English Premier League, Hislop now an ESPN FC analyst was speaking during a recent visit to the Federation Park, St Clair-based swimming facility on January 30, where he spoke to the competitive swimmers about the importance of dreaming big.
During the visit, he was accompanied by Dr Wayne Frederick, the T&T-born President of Howard University, in the USA.
Both men spoke of their strong friendship which began at St Mary’s College (CIC) in the 1980s and would see them through many successes and challenges, as they forged a name for themselves in the USA and beyond.
Hislop would go on to make his name in the international arena as a footballer in the United Kingdom, as the goalkeeper for the Soca Warriors at two FIFA World Cup matches against Sweden and England at Germany 2006 and as a football analyst for the US-based sports TV Channel, ESPN while Frederick would become the youngest board certified surgeon in US history.
Both men are alumni of Howard University, as is Flying Fish Head Coach and Aquatic Director, Dexter Browne, who arranged their visit to the club.
Dr Frederick spoke to the swimmers about the debt of gratitude he owes this country and all those who invested in him and declared that he would always seek to give back.
He stressed the importance of following their passion and focusing on the journey to success, not just the destination. He also urged that while in pursuit of their dreams, they not lose sight of the importance of empathy, compassion and kindness to others.
Hislop urged the swimmers to dream big and to surround themselves with friends who dreamed big alongside them, declaring:
“If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, they aren’t big enough. You’ve got to dream bigger. When people start laughing - that’s when you know you’re on the right track.”