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25
Sun, Aug

Andre Baptiste

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The T&T In­ter­na­tion­al Marathon (TTIM) is on Jan­u­ary 27. That is the great news.

Even bet­ter news is that we will be at it again. We, mean­ing, the pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee, Bri­an Lewis, and his band of mer­ry men and women.

In much the same way, as the new "Robin Hood" in cin­e­mas all over the World in 2018 and be­fore, Lewis, is seek­ing to add per­spec­tive to the sport­ing land­scape again by en­sur­ing that those with­out (our beloved ath­letes) re­ceive the nec­es­sary sup­port to suc­ceed for all of us.

Un­like "Robin Hood" though, Lewis is try­ing to seek sup­port from the wealthy and fa­mous in the prop­er man­ner with pub­lic trans­paren­cy and earnest de­sire. It is now left to those who have the pow­er to as­sist their coun­try folk, to fol­low through on their new year res­o­lu­tions of "care, love, be­lief in their hu­man broth­ers and sis­ters to de­liv­er".

Less many of you for­get, the pur­pose of Lewis, Tony Lee, Eliz­a­beth Grif­fith, An­ton La Fond, Nigel Mark Bap­tiste, Roger Daniel, Cur­tis Nero, Cap­tain Andy Cheekes, Richie Rahim, Mer­ryl See­tal, Michael Re­ece, Clay­ton Mor­ris, Dale Lutch­man, Sun­ny Bling, Robert Du­mas and my­self be­ing in­volved is be­cause of the dire need to sup­port our ath­letes.

Robert has a per­son­al dri­ve as well, to­wards an ur­gent op­er­a­tion for his beloved fa­ther, so there is added in­cen­tive for per­sons to ral­ly around him and the team.

For too long in this coun­try, per­sons have al­lowed their blind­ed ways to ig­nore the needs of our ath­letes or those that are in need of med­ical at­ten­tion. While we all, on one hand, want our ath­letes to suc­ceed, on the oth­er hand, we are on­ly will­ing to talk and not walk the talk.

Why not come out Jan­u­ary 27 and be part of the walk by con­tribut­ing to the ath­letes' wel­fare fund on the day and feel the pas­sion and joy as you make that per­son­al ef­fort which goes a long way in dri­ving the fu­ture of sports in this coun­try.

As we look ahead to this sea­son with loads of pos­si­bil­i­ties and ex­pec­ta­tions and in light of the pow­er­ful mes­sage re­cent­ly de­liv­ered by Pro­fes­sor Ger­ry Brooks, the chair­man of the Na­tion­al Gas Com­pa­ny at the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Ad­min­is­tra­tions (NAAA) awards on Jan­u­ary 5, let us hope that all are lis­ten­ing, from ath­letes to as­so­ci­a­tions, to gov­ern­ment, to cor­po­rate T&T and fi­nal­ly to the me­dia.

It all starts with us, with me, with you and that per­haps it is the great­est chal­lenge, as there are many in this coun­try that are strangers to that clear and present un­der­stand­ing.

As the “Robin Hood" theme song goes, there is a lot that we can all learn from this fight, be­tween good and evil, be­cause men­tal­ly whether in­ten­tion­al­ly or not, there are many in this coun­try in­volved in sports, that do not want our ath­letes to be suc­cess­ful, even if their ob­vi­ous­ly emp­ty words seem to sug­gest oth­er­wise.

Tak­en from the theme song, sung by Bryan Adams:

“Look in­to my eyes

You will see

What you mean to me

Search your heart

Search your soul

And when you find me there, you'll search no more

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for

You know it's true

Every­thing I do

I do it for you

Look in­to your heart

You will find

There's noth­in' there to hide

Take me as I am

Take my life

I would give it all, I would sac­ri­fice

Don't tell me it's not worth fight­in' for”.

Can we open­ly ig­nore the sac­ri­fices and the pain in the eyes of our ath­letes as they con­tin­ue to give their life and their every­day liv­ing, just to be part of the T&T sport­ing land­scape? On so many oc­ca­sions, the words from the song ring so very true, es­pe­cial­ly, when we note that we need to, search your soul.

It will be very in­ter­est­ing as the date draws near­er and with many dis­trac­tions around to ob­serve the be­hav­iour of the cit­i­zens in this coun­try to­wards sports and more par­tic­u­lar­ly to­wards the Di­anne Hen­der­son-led TTIM three-day fi­es­ta which be­gins on Jan­u­ary 25 with a six-team re­lay run around the Queen's Park Sa­van­nah in Port-of-Spain, fol­lowed by a 5k event on Jan­u­ary 26, cul­mi­nat­ing with the Marathon.

So let us hope that, as "Robin Hood" and his team have a fairy­tale end­ing, that Lewis and his bunch of fol­low­ers like­wise have the same sort of end­ing, which would great­ly not on­ly please our ath­letes but the many chil­dren and youths in need at Es­he Learn­ing Cen­tre as well as the can­cer and di­a­betes dri­ve.

Come on T&T, show your true colours once again.

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