There are those who take issue with Carnival for various reasons. Carnival mentality is seen in some quarters as a negative. Many years ago leader of Singapore, at the time, Lee Quan Yew suggested that Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival mentality is more curse than blessing.

However, two years ago Michael Johnson Performance Global Performance Director, Lance Walker declared during a high performance workshop at Olympic House that Trinidad and Tobago Carnival mentality was a strength and a positive once the constructive elements are focused on.

This year Desperadoes Steel Orchestra captured their 11th panorama title and first after a 16 year wait. What a positive message of resilience, discipline, dedication and commitment.

Aaron “Voice” St Louis, the youngest soca artiste to win Soca Monarch did so with a creatively constructed positive lyrics offering. Aaron Duncan, Amrit Samaroo, Sharissa Camejo, Roderick Gordon, Akeem Chance to name a few showed in no uncertain manner that if given an opportunity the future is bright.

According to Walker harnessing the Carnival mentality and its positive attributes and characteristics can be Trinidad and Tobago’s secret weapon. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival and Sport can be unstoppable global brands.

Just imagine the possibilities to produce extraordinary successes if we made the most of the opportunity and imbuded carnival and sport with strong, positive values backed up by effective marketing communications.

We need a strategy with real focus and an appreciation that Trinidad and Tobago is in the business of winning. Winning gold medals, new markets, the battle to diversify the country’s economy, the battle against high crime and the gang culture.

T&T’s Carnival and Sports are under valued assets
Speaking of carnival and sport. Yesterday (Carnival Monday), the Michael Johnson Performance, bptt and TTOC 2K16 Carnival High Performance Training Camp got underway at the MJP facility in Mc Kinney, Texas, USA. The MJP mission is to help every athlete reach his or her full athletic potential, regardless of age, gender, limitation, sport or natural ability.

Their programmes are designed to bring out the potential in every athlete. They base all their training on years of research and scientific data. MJP’s goal is to build an athletic foundation from the ground up so they focus their training towards any sport, any field, any goal.

To perform at their best, our athletes need to have a firm understanding of their bodies. MJP’s Advanced Athlete Assessment provides a complete evaluation of each athlete’s overall athleticism.

With a comprehensive review MJP can provide athlete’s and their coach with the necessary information to improve athletic performance and reduce injury. The opportunity for both athlete and coach is to obtain a full support plan that allows for a more targetted training approach.

Tests include subjective Athlete Profile Body Composition Analysis and Nutrition Profile Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Y Balance Test Range of Motion Screening & Manual Muscle Test Neuromuscular Profile Sport-relevant performance testing.

The MJP High Performance Partnership is an initiative of the Norman Christie led Bptt.

The TTOC’s logo incorporates the steelpan (Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument, Hummingbird, and the Olympic Rings. In recent years the TTOC Olympic House Staff host a Carnival Friday lunch. This year was no exception. Carnival may present challenges in certain situations but for the TTOC carnival is in its Trinbagonian DNA. Lance Walker’s words matter- “find a way to turn your carnival mentality into a plus not a minus, a blessing not a curse. Obstacles are the way.”

Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC. Support #10 Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Buy #TeamTTO Teeshirts at all Fan Club stores.