PRIMARY and secondary school students in Valencia and Sangre Grande got the opportunity to meet, greet and mob their sporting hero Keshorn Walcott yesterday afternoon during a motorcade to honour his Olympic bronze medal achievement at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Organised by the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Walcott made stops at seven schools, leaving the youngsters with words of encouragement and memories to last a lifetime.
“Ah not washing meh hand again!” one boy screamed after getting to shake Walcott’s hand during his visit to Valencia South Government.
At Valencia Secondary — the only secondary school visited — Walcott posed for pictures with students and staff and reminded students that they too can be an Olympian.
“Thank you so much for your support.
Hopefully next Olympics one of you guys can be there with me,” he said.
In all, Walcott made stops at Guaico Government Primary School, Guaico Presbyterian, St Francis RC, Sangre Grande Hindu School and Sangre Grande SDA Primary before the day’s activities climaxed with a function at Monte Cristo park in Sangre Grande.
At the various schools, teachers struggled to contain the excitement of their students who mobbed Walcott, pleading for autographs, fist bumps and even selfies.
The Toco-born athlete seemed to enjoy the outpouring of love he was receiving, indulging the various requests from the children and even taking time to tie the laces of a girl’s shoe at Guaico Government when he noticed it loose.
Driven in a white Mercedes Benz by his manager Sean Roach, some members of the public were left a bit disappointed after coming out their houses to get a peep of the double Olympic medallist but not getting to see him.
Students did not have that trouble, though, getting up close and personal with him, cheering his every word and expressing their gratitude to him with banners and signs at Guaico Presbyterian.
At Monte Cristo Park, a weary Walcott thanked the youngsters for the wonderful experience throughout the day but refused to comment on the much discussed support of lack thereof shown by the national public for TT ’s athletes during the Olympics.
Walcott, asked by a television reporter for his thoughts on the support offered to the athletes during the Olympics, asked for clarification.
“You talking about here or you talking about everything else?” he inquired.
When the reporter told him he was asking about Rio, Walcott shook his head, turned around and walked off.
Moments before his impromptu exit, Walcott beamed with pride as he spoke of his interaction with his adoring fans.
“It feels good knowing that what I’ve been doing is recognised.
I’m just thankful for everyone coming out and supporting me from the beginning to the end.
It’s always good to know that the young ones recognise who you are and they have someone to look up to.
It means that I’m doing something right for the children,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Terry Rondon said it was a dream come true to have Walcott visit the students.
“We are so happy, that is why today I organised this for Keshorn to touch all the schools.
“We brought children from Matelot so they could see their hero and Keshorn talk to the children to inspire them that we have future Keshorn Walcott and other athletes,” he said.
Rondon later presented a $15,000 cheque to Walcott to do whatever he desires, a plaque and was supposed to give Walcott the keys to the region but was unable to as the Mayor of Port of Spain Keron Valentine was unable to attend.
He continued to sing Walcott praises though and backed him to reclaim gold in Tokyo 2020.
“Keshorn continues to get the job done.
He has gold, he has bronze. Keshorn will come back with gold again,” Rondon declared.
Also attending yesterday’s function was Beverley Walcott, mother of TT ’s top Olympian, along with Brian Lewis, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Glenda Jennings-Smith, MP for Toco-Sangre Grande and other dignitaries