With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutting down sports worldwide, sportsmen and women are getting involved and assisting those who are in need. Many of T&T's top athletes have been assisting and Olympian and World Juniors 400 metres champion Machel Cedenio has joined the fray.
Cedenio, who is based in Florida, USA, will be assisting his club Simplex Athletics Club and the Gasparillo community by means of hampers. He has insured that all needy athletes from his club and community will be given some support during this testing time.
When contacted by Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday, Gunness Persad, president of Simplex, who is the co-ordinator of this activity said, "Machel has stated that he would like to assist the needy athletes of our club and the needy in the Gasparillo community. I am the person who is responsible for ensuring that this effort is a success and I know it will be as Machel has always assisted the club and community.
Cedenio anchored the T&T 4x400m relay team to victory along with Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards and Asa Guevara to claim the gold medal out of lane four at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan last year. A performance which earned the quartet the Lystra Lewis Award at the recently held First Citizens Sports Foundation awards ceremony.
He said on Wednesday, "Even though I am currently not in Trinidad, I have been keeping up to date via the news about what is taking place locally. I realized that they would be many people who would be without an income and therefore would be in need of some assistance. I decided that I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. I needed to render some help within my running community and reached out to club Simplex and to also help those within my own community during these difficult times."
Cedenio, the national 400m record-holder, was very happy to assist his club and community according to Persad, who intimated that the Olympic gold medallist Keston Bledman, another Florida-based athlete, will do the same for his community of Claxton Bay, next week.