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Some of Trinidad and Tobago’s most celebrated personalities are lending wholehearted support to the pioneering digital campaign launched by energy company bp Trinidad and Tobago to demonstrate national pride and bolster the efforts of the country’s future Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Former Miss Universe, Janelle ‘Penny’ Commissiong, and former Olympic medallists, Hasely Crawford and Ato Boldon, are among the thousands of nationals who have joined the unique campaign by using the social media Twitter to share what they love about Trinidad and Tobago. In the process, future Olympians and Paralympians stand to benefit to the tune of $200,000, if total tweets reach 100,000 by Republic Day, September 24.

Launched on Friday, July 27, the campaign, which has energised all of Trinidad and Tobago, recorded over 63,000 tweets by only its 14th full day, Friday, August 10.

The campaign urges members of the national public to “share what you love about Trinidad and Tobago on Twitter by adding the hashtag #I4TANDT to your tweets. 100,000 tweets by September 24 = $200,000 toward our future Olympians and Paralympians”. An intensive promotional effort has been mounted to inform the public on how to use Twitter with “bpTweety”.

BPTT is a sponsor of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee through to 2016. Parent company BP is the official Oil and Gas Partner of the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Four members of the TT Olympic team in London, Cleopatra Borel-Brown, Njisane Phillip, Michelle-Lee Ahye and Renny Quow, and paralympians Carlos Green and Shanntol Ince, were selected as bpTT athlete ambassadors.

One of the driving forces behind the Twitter campaign is Danielle Jones, Manager, Corporate Communica­tions, bpTT, who is ecstatic with the tremendous support from the national community. “We are pleased and excited that people from all walks of life have joined bpTT in this pioneering digital effort to celebrate national pride. bpTT’s aspiration, our very vision, calls on us to be nationalistic and pioneering in all we do. The #I4TANDT campaign is a first for TT, an opportunity to bring many positive voices about our culture and country together for a great cause,” Jones pointed out.

“An additional benefit of the initiative is the involvement of several members of the TT Olympic team, including cyclist Phillip, and athletes Ahye and Borel-Brown, who have tweeted to thank the nation for its support. We were even more thrilled when four-time Olympic medallist, now NBC commentator, Ato Boldon, used the hashtag to show his support for the team,” Jones said.

As at the end of the day yesterday, the total number of tweets amounted to 84,137.

“It’s been really amazing,” she said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Jones shared a personal experience with the campaign while in London recently for events to celebrate the BP Group’s support of the Olympic Games and the Trinidad and Tobago team. “The hashtag campaign kept me connected to our country and to our team’s supporters. It was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for our country as our athletes prepared to compete on the world’s greatest stage,” she recounted.

Chike Farrell, CEO of Caribbean Ideas, which manages the I4TANDT Twitter account, said the “great thing about this promotion is that it’s a groundbreaking social media campaign in the local market which is redounding to the credit of both bpTT and Trinidad and Tobago as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of Independence”.

A hashtag is Twitter’s method of making it easy to follow a conversation around a specific topic. By adding # before a phrase, anyone can search on Twitter to keep track of the conversation.

Examples of I4TANDT tweets from well-known personalities include:

Ato Boldon: Supporting @AndrewLewisSail today as he blazes a new trail for TnT Olympic athletes #I4TANDT!!

Anya Ayoung-Chee: You guys are doing great already!! #I4TANDT is the hashtag to support our team... Let’s make them as proud as they make us!

Ian Antonio Alvarez (Bunji Garlin): Can’t lie, is like you can feel the joy for each other in the air of this West Indian region. We represented strong. #I4TANDT!

Kes the Band: Congrats to @georgebovell for smashing the 50m heat with the fastest time! We Are Conquerors! #I4TandT!!