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Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Officer First Citizens presents a cheque for an undisclosed sum to T&TOC president, Brian Lewis at First Citizens Corporate Centre, Queen’s Park East, Port of Spain, yesterday .

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First Cit­i­zens has come on board as a tier one, a plat­inum part­ner of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee to­wards its #10Golds24 ini­tia­tive.

The part­ner­ship was an­nounced by Karen Dar­basie, Group Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer First Cit­i­zens along with a cheque pre­sen­ta­tion for an undis­closed sum to T&TOC pres­i­dent, Bri­an Lewis at First Cit­i­zens Cor­po­rate Cen­tre, Queen’s Park East, Port- of-Spain, yes­ter­day.

The T&TOC is on a mis­sion to achieve 10 or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024 (#10Golds24).

Through its Ath­lete and Prepa­ra­tion Fund, they seek to cul­ti­vate a sys­tem of ex­cel­lence that clar­i­fies the de­vel­op­ment path­way and per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem that will holis­ti­cal­ly fos­ter, men­tor, nur­ture and de­vel­op Olympians and Olympic cham­pi­ons and First Cit­i­zens has come on board in sup­port of lo­cal ath­letes in their jour­ney to­wards achiev­ing that goal.

Dar­basie, in her ad­dress, likened the part­ner­ship formed be­tween her com­pa­ny and the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee to a 'gayap'.

Dar­basie said, "The T&TOC's in­vi­ta­tion for part­ner­ship, draws from the ex­act ideals that have made the 'gayap' such a tried and true sys­tem - cel­e­brat­ing the spir­it of uni­ty, to achieve a shared goal.

"To­day, hav­ing ac­cept­ed that in­vi­ta­tion, First Cit­i­zens has part­nered with T&TOC for the very first time, as we join oth­er cor­po­rate spon­sors on the jour­ney to achiev­ing 10 gold medals by 2024.

She not­ed that there was very lit­tle op­po­si­tion among her peers as to whether First Cit­i­zens should get in­volved when ap­proached by the T&TOC say­ing: In fact, there was lit­tle de­lib­er­a­tion over whether we should be in­volved in an ini­tia­tive that stands to cat­a­pult the sport­ing sta­tus of our coun­try and our ath­letes, by leaps and bounds."

"Like the T&TOC we un­der­stand the im­mense re­spon­si­bil­i­ty of tak­ing a home­grown brand to the glob­al stage. Some days the jour­ney feels like an ex­cit­ing dash, where the on­ly thing that stands be­tween you and suc­cess is 100m.

"Oth­er days it takes 're­al bel­ly' as we say in lo­cal par­lance, to stay the long and ar­du­ous course. What­ev­er the chal­lenge, its all a part of the quest for glo­ry."

She added, "Like the 'gayap' part­ner­ship is what will make these 10 golds pos­si­ble and that cer­tain­ly doesn't mean re­ly­ing sole­ly on the as­sis­tance will come from the Min­istry of Sports. The part­ner­ship means all of us work­ing to­geth­er with our ath­letes, the gov­ern­ment yes, but al­so, the ad­min­is­tra­tors, the me­dia, cor­po­rate cit­i­zens, in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zens, com­mu­ni­ties, par­ents, fam­i­ly, friends, and the ath­letes."

Re­flect­ing on Keshorn Wal­cott's his­toric javelin gold medal at Lon­don 2012, Dar­basie said, 'I am cer­tain we will re­call that when Keshorn Wal­cott won gold, whether you were from To­co or To­ba­go, you felt like that was your gold medal too, and every­one ap­pre­ci­at­ed a na­tion­al hol­i­day to cel­e­brate a na­tion's hero. That's the essence of our na­tion­al mot­to, "To­geth­er We As­pire, To­geth­er We Achieve.'

"And so the vi­sion of the T&TOC is like­wise our vi­sion. We hope that our con­tri­bu­tion will go a long way in help­ing our ath­letes to re­al­ize our Olympic dream.

"It's an op­por­tu­ni­ty for T&T to show the best of the hu­man spir­it, to de­fy the odds and to cre­ate nail-bit­ing mo­ments that we will talk about for gen­er­a­tions.

Dar­basie in giv­ing her full sup­port to the ini­tia­tive told Lewis that First Cit­i­zens, it's Sports Foun­da­tion and the group that stands be­hind the Sports Foun­da­tion is re­al­ly hap­py to part­ner with the T&TOC.

She added, "We are re­al­ly hap­py to part­ner with the head sport­ing com­mit­tee, look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing the part­ner­ship, we have start­ed the road and we are go­ing to con­tin­ue the road with you all. It's a big step for­ward and a step on a jour­ney we in­tend to con­tin­ue."

Lewis not­ed it may sound cliche but to­day (yes­ter­day) is a very im­por­tant day for the T&TOC as it marked the dawn of a new era with First Cit­i­zens.

Re­call­ing the bank's his­to­ry or the DNA of First Cit­i­zens which be­gan in 1914 as the T&T Co-op­er­a­tive Bank (Pen­ny Bank), fol­lowed by the Work­ers Bank, Na­tion­al Com­mer­cial Bank and then mor­phed in­to First Cit­i­zens Bank in 1993, there were many peo­ple in our so­ci­ety wish­ing it will fail, and who did not share the as­pi­ra­tions and dreams to lift our coun­try and lift our peo­ple and lift the young peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar of T&T, stat­ed Lewis.

And it is in that DNA and shared val­ues that the T&TOC stands and Team T&TOC stands be­cause when we ar­tic­u­lat­ed ten golds by 2024, we were laughed at, but we don't take that per­son­al we take that as an in­spi­ra­tion and as mo­ti­va­tion.

We be­lieve in the po­ten­tial and tal­ent in the youth, and we can as­pire to be a glob­al brand and sym­bol and mo­ti­va­tion of suc­cess.

For us at the T&TOC it is not a job, we do it vol­un­tar­i­ly, we do it un­paid, we do it as part of our ser­vice and con­tri­bu­tion to the youth and young peo­ple of T&T, and it is in that re­gard that we stand proud­ly, and we are hap­py to em­bark up­on a new phase of our jour­ney with First Cit­i­zens be­cause they are an in­dige­nous bank, they rep­re­sent and en­cap­su­late the vi­sion, the dreams, and as­pi­ra­tion of T&T.


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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

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has praised his nation's athletes after the country recorded their best medal performance at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Colin Murray |

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDALLIST! Nicholas Paul of T&T celebrates beating compatriot Phillip Njisanel, also of T&T, to win the gold medal in the track cycling men's sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 3. (AP)

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

The Pan Amer­i­can Games closed on Sun­day but T&T is still cel­e­brat­ing its his­toric per­for­mance, claim­ing 13 medals, the most ever.

I happen to be initially browsing but having caught my attention, I then perused thoroughly, the 2018 Oxford Business Group country report on Trinidad and Tobago.  There were a number of perespectives, snap shots and overviews written. If one wanted to get a well researched and documented overview of the economic and business landscape within the twin Island Republic.

31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.

It is cold in Lima, Peru, host city of the 2019 Pan Am Games. In fact, it is winter here in the South American nation.

With the one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially underway, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, (TTOC) has announced that TTO athletes will benefit from a pre-games training camp at the Japan Athlete Training Center Osumi, in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of Japan’s Host Town Initiative.

Dylan Carter

Tokyo 2020

National swimmer Dylan Carter has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after reaching the semi-final in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

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.

Tokyo 2020

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.


Cartan Global         Michael Johnson Performance Puma