GEORGE COMMISSIONG, assistant chef de mission of the Trinidad and Tobago 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games contingent, commended the team’s commitment and camaraderie when this country returned home on Tuesday night with their best-ever medal haul at the Games.

TT won five medals at the Games held in Bahamas, winning two gold, two silver and one bronze. Sprinter Adell Colthrust (boys 100 metres) and the girls beach soccer team won gold, Tyriq Horsford (boys javelin) and the boys beach soccer team earned silver, while swimmer Jeron Thompson (boys 50m freestyle) copped bronze for TT . TT were also represented in tennis, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling, judo and rugby sevens.

A celebratory function was held at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport for the 50 athletes, where Commissiong said not everyone saw the hard work that was put in to achieve success. “While we gather to celebrate the medals, I want to remind us all that while medals are important it does not always reflect all that has taken place,” Commissiong said.

“Therefore tonight I want to share that the medal performance does not necessarily reflect the growth and development that has taken place, the things learnt and the experience acquired by the athletes. It does not reflect the enthusiasm, commitment, effort made by all athletes, those who won medals and otherwise. It does not reflect the commitment of the support team, medical team, coaches and administrators.

Perhaps last but not least, it does not reflect the camaraderie, team spirit and bonding that have taken place over the last nine days.” Colthrust thanked everyone for their support and is optimistic some members of the team will represent TT at the 2020 Olympics.

Colthrust said, “First of all I will like to thank the Almighty for giving all of us this talent and opportunity to go out there and represent our country. I will like to thank my mom, dad and everyone. It has been a really good experience, I really like this team and hopefully we meet each other again Olympics 2020.” Beach soccer girls captain Nia Honore said the team faced challenges on their journey, but was glad the team brought home gold for TT .

Honore said, “Firstly I will like to thank God, the coaches and my teammates for putting in all the effort on the field. Each game we faced a different obstacle, but at the end we accomplished what we went to do and that was to win the gold. I will like to thank our coaches for helping us prepare for this tournament for the last two months. We came out with gold and I am very thankful for that.” Diane Henderson, vice president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, congratulated girls beach soccer player Tamika Campbell.

Campbell, who is a special needs athlete, helped TT to the gold medal. Henderson said, “Sometimes we feel that special Olympians should not be given the opportunity to play at the level of the rest of athletes. It shows that she has crossed the borders and has been able to (compete with the others).”