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24
Sat, Aug

- TEAM TTO THRIVE - 

Blog

Buenos Aires 2018 is done and dust­ed T&T Youth Olympic Games team re­turned home to weath­er tur­moil and flood-re­lat­ed is­sues.

The op­por­tu­ni­ty to com­pete with and in­ter­act with their peers from around the globe will prove price­less.

Team TTO's 13 ath­lete del­e­ga­tion com­pet­ed in three sports- cy­cling, track and field and fut­sal in Ar­genti­na. The girls' fut­sal team of ten play­ers en­sured that fe­males made up the ma­jor­i­ty of the team.

It's al­ways in­struc­tive the scruti­ny which Team TTO ath­letes are giv­en. This is both un­der­stand­able and wel­comed. But con­text is im­por­tant. The T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) be­lieves that in­vest­ing in this coun­try's par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Youth Olympic Games and Youth Com­mon­wealth Games are need­ed in­vest­ments in the fu­ture.

The per­for­mance at the Youth Games is de­vel­op­ment fo­cused.

Speak­ing about youth de­vel­op­ment the at­ten­dance of a youth­ful con­tin­gent of Cougars track and field club led by the tal­ent­ed teenag­er Shani­qua Bas­combe was a re­fresh­ing fea­ture of the TTOC sec­ond an­nu­al "Ad­vanc­ing Women in Lead­er­ship" fo­rum held at Na­tion­al Rac­quet Sports Cen­tre in Tacarigua.

The ad­verse weath­er and flood­ing caused a num­ber of par­tic­i­pants to be un­avoid­ably ab­sent. Strand­ed and un­able to get past flood wa­ters many used What­sapp to con­vey their frus­tra­tion.

Some 105 par­tic­i­pants were reg­is­tered and with over 70 turn­ing up, the fo­rum was a suc­cess by any mea­sure.

Among the par­tic­i­pants lis­ten­ing at­ten­tive­ly to Min­is­ter of Sport and Youth Af­fairs Sham­fa Cud­joe were Caribbean par­tic­i­pants from Bar­ba­dos, St Kitts and Nevis and Suri­name.

The pan­el­lists and the pro­gramme agen­da al­lowed for ven­ti­la­tion of a myr­i­ad of is­sues and con­cerns in re­spect of women and girls in sport. One pan­el­list, Kwanieze John, told the au­di­ence that lead­er­ship train­ing should start at the pri­ma­ry school lev­el to al­le­vi­ate the lead­er­ship deficit cur­rent­ly fac­ing T&T.

That track ath­lete Shani­qua Bas­combe and her youth­ful col­leagues in­vest­ed the time and at­ten­tion to learn about ad­vanc­ing women in lead­er­ship will no doubt au­gur well for their fu­ture on and off the sports field.

Is the fu­ture fe­male? Time will tell. But cer­tain­ly hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tions and rais­ing the aware­ness about women and girls in sports is­sues is rel­e­vant and im­por­tant if one is to judge by the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants who braved the in­clement weath­er on Sat­ur­day.

That they would have heard Min­is­ter Cud­joe com­mit to ad­vanc­ing women in lead­er­ship would have en­cour­aged and mo­ti­vat­ed not on­ly the fe­males but al­so the males in at­ten­dance.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the views ex­pressed are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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Rheeza Grant Interview - August 2019 - 2019 Pan Am Games, Lima, Peru

Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates after winning men's sprint gold at the Pan American Games ©Getty Images

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

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Colin Murray | colomurray@gmail.com

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

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In this file photo, (from L) TT's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4×100m relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.

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TEAM TTO has been assured of a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Twelve years after their second place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, sprinters Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman will receive their 4x100m relay gold.

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