Port-of-Spain, Trinidad January 27, 2015: Guardian Group and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) hosted a press conference today, Tuesday January 27th, 2015 to re-affirm its partnership and commitment to the TTOC, ensuring the welfare and protection of Trinidad and Tobago athletes not only as they prepare for Rio 2016 but for life after sport with financial assistance and professional support to the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.  In addition to its support of the fund, Guardian Group has been able to structure a package of insurance coverage to the TTOC for all athletes in the Sporting Federations identified by the TTOC. The TTOC is now actively considering the plan which includes local Medical Coverage and Accident Medical coverage for injuries arising out of sporting/training events.


At the press conference Douglas Camacho, Executive Director and Group President Strategic Investments and former President of the TTOC shared Guardian Group’s legacy of support to the TTOC and ongoing commitment to ensuring Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes are so positioned to not only have success in their respective disciplines but in life after sport. This has always been a focus for Guardian Group going as far back as 2001.


Guardian Group’s partnership with TT Olympic Committee spans almost (15) years.  In 2001, Guardian Life of the Caribbean initiated the Youth Star Programme, the vision of which was the personal development of young people which included the nurturing of important life skills – outside of training – for a more holistic development of these young adults. In addition to Guardian’s executives providing expertise in financial and investments planning, these young people were coached in public speaking and presentation skills. The first group of athletes who participated were Darrel Brown, Marc Burns, Danille Prime, Fana Ashby, Shane Stone, Tyler Mayers and Lindell Brooks as part of the pilot project.  In return, these athletes mentored youths in Trinidad and Tobago at schools and other youth fora.

When the Youth Star programme was phased out in 2006, Guardian Life of the Caribbean  partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to implement a health and wellness initiative aimed at encouraging athletic development and improving the physical wellbeing of Trinidad & Tobago citizens. In 2007 Youth Stars morphed into Shape Your Life,

Affiliate Assistance/ Athletes –four athletes got assistance in their preparation for the Pan American Games in Rio. These were athletes who would not have been able to benefit from the government’s Elite Athletes Funding programme. Among them was local hammer thrower, Candice Scott, the only athlete to represent Trinidad & Tobago in this event.

Elderly Aquatic Programme –for three hours every week from April to August, 40 sixty-five year olds (plus) took part in aerobic aquatic exercises.  Physiotherapists, life guards and instructors in tandem with Hydro-fit facilitated the much enjoyed aqua-therapy.

Intergenerational Heritage Games – 1200 participants ranging in age from 8 to 80 from six communities in rural Trinidad came together for the Games. The games re-established strong links within communities and promoted overall camaraderie and competitive spirit.


TTOC President, Brian Lewis was presented with a cheque from the Group CEO of Guardian Group, Ravi Tewari to aid #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Brian Lewis, TTOC President, expressed his gratitude to Guardian Group and commended their long standing partnership in the work of the TTOC. He also indicated that Guardian Group’s offer of medical coverage was a very positive development and breakthrough in the protection and coverage of Trinidad and Tobago athletes on the world stage.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis's smile was a bit broader this morning when four corporate entities handed over cheques to the #10gold24 Athlete Preparation and Welfare Fund.

At the TTOC headquarters on Abercromby Street, Colombus Communications, Southern Sales, Toyota and Deloitte & Touche all made financial contributions to the fund that Lewis launched with his 26.2mile walk in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon Sunday.

The investment  follows the $250,000 cheque the Guardian Group donated yesterday to the Fund Just Tuesday , Douglas Camacho  appealed to corporate Trinidad and Tobago to stop the bandwagon jumping and step forward to help T&T athletes in their development stage.

Lewis hoped that this would be the start of a long-lasting relationship with the new investors.

"This is a first time for the Olympic Committee not only because of the roll out of the #10 gold24 and the establishment of the athletes preparation and welfare fund but in terms of signaling  to the national community  the strategic  transformation and  modernisation of the TTOC marketing approach," Lewis said, adding the TTOC was adapting a new social and digital media initiative to connect with a younger audience.

"We have to be scrupulously honest. The idea is we would love to see at  some point it (this relationship) evolve and that you find the experience such a fantastic one that  you want to take it to the top partner level but at this point in time it is really about the athletes and   no one stake holder can do it all  because it is not an inexpensive proposition," Lewis said The former rugby player said the TTOC   is also taking a more proactive approach to fan and corporate engagement.

By expanding to other corporate stake holders, Lewis hoped to secure more resources to help more athletes.

"What the Fund/project is allowing us to do is to satisfy the demands of our relationship with our top partners but also afford an opportunity to other businesses and corporate entities in the marketplace to engage and be part of what we believe is an absolutely powerful initiative which is to engage the young people of T&T in a contemporary and dynamic way ......I hope your involvement is not a one-off because  we have to recognise that this is an ongoing relationship," Lewis stated.

TTOC secretary general Annette Knot said the TTOC executive were extremely proud of Lewis and his initiative that has garnered so much support .

"The TTOC we were really proud that Mr  (Brian) Lewis decided to make this very bold step  with this walk," Knot said, " We are very proud of him but I can't tell you the momentum it has given us   because now we have so many more people very conscious of the Fund. Of course, just the evidence of you being here today says to us that the step he e took was a bold step and we are very happy that he did because we know  it will actually transfer from being cheques today to being actual performances tomorrow and going forward."

Lewis promised the sponsors and the national community that the TTOC will ensure through good accounting practices that all money given to the Fund will go directly to benefiting the athlete and will be transparent and accountable to stake holders.

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has briefed Olympic sponsors in Lausanne on his Olympic Agenda 2020.

The German provided an overview of the 40 recommendations that comprise the reform initiative, which was unanimously approved by the full IOC membership in Monaco last month, as part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 TOPs summit.

"For many decades, the Worldwide TOP Partners have demonstrated the importance of their support for the entire Olympic Movement," Bach said.

"Our Partners were an integral part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 discussion phase throughout 2014.

"As we move to implementation, following the unanimous approval of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations last month, the Partners, along with the other stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, have an important role to play, and at today's summit we discussed opportunities for further future collaboration."

IOC director general Christophe De Kepper provided further details on the next stage of the Olympic Agenda 2020 process - planning and implementation, then the delegates focused on several key themes including "the uniqueness of the Olympic Games", "athletes" and "Olympus in action".

"The summit has been a great forum to discuss with our valued Partners the next phase of Olympic Agenda 2020," Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC television and marketing services, said.

"A handful of the approved recommendations relate directly to our work with the TOP Partners, but it was clear from today's discussion that their long-term support goes way beyond this and will be essential in realising the overall vision."

Meanwhile, the afternoon was devoted to the Olympic Channel project, which Gianni's Exarches, chief executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services, called one of the "headline recommendations" coming out of Olympic Agenda 2020.

"We were able to continue our discussions with the TOP Partners, but with the knowledge that the Channel project has now been approved," he said.

"We are now out of the starting blocks with the plans for the Channel, and today was an opportunity to share our excitement and enthusiasm for the concept and belief that it will offer opportunities to engage with people, especially young people, all around the world, every day of the year."


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, left, shows his appreciation to 1976 Olympic 100 metres gold medallist Hasely Crawford, after Crawford announced that he would offer his medal and running gear from that race on lease as his contribution to the TTOC’s #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Watching on is National Association of Athletics Administrations president Emphraim Serrette. The occasion was a cheque presentation by the Guardian Group to the Fund at the company’s offices in Westmoorings yesterday.

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad January 27, 2015:

In a surprise announcement during a press conference at Guardian Group’s offices yesterday Trinidad and Tobago's first Olympic Gold medalist Hasely Crawford offered his Olympic gold medal along with the vest, pants, socks and sneakers worn when he won Gold in 100m in 1976, to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

This pledge of support to the #10gold24 campaign is to assist in raising funds to further assist athletes.

Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic Gold Medalist, stressed the importance of support for athletes He recalled many of the challenges he experienced as an athlete in the 1970’s and lamented on the struggles many Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic hopefuls still undergo to prepare for international competition.

He congratulated TTOC President Brian Lewis on completing the Trinidad and Tobago  Marathon and his vision of #10gold24 and for establishing  the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund .


At the press conference Guardian Group announced it will extend  its partnership with the TTOC for another three years and presented a $TT250,000 cheque to the TTOC as a contribution to the #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation fund.

Olympic icon offers Montreal gold to 10golds24 fund
Hasely Crawford put his Olympic gold medal where his mouth is yesterday.


Catching the audience at the atrium of the Guardian Group offices in Westmoorings completely by surprise, the 1976 Montreal 100 metres champion said he would put up the medal and the gear he wore on that historic day to be leased, in support of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.


“I am offering my Olympic gold medal, my jersey, my pants, the socks and the shoes to you, the Olympic Association,” Crawford said, addressing a stunned TTOC president Brian Lewis at the head table. “You need to work out some form of arrangement where it can be leased to support our young people.”


Crawford’s words were followed by sustained applause from the gathering that was there to witness a cheque presentation by the Guardian Group in support of the Olympic Committee’s #10golds24 project.


Before presentation time arrived however, Crawford made a passionate plea for public support for the Fund.


Recalling his own personal struggles in the build-up to his Montreal triumph, he said: “A lot of people do not understand what an athlete goes through, especially to win an Olympic medal.”

He then gave examples of the current need for corporate help involving, “two of our young, budding athletes, 16, 17,” who, “personally I feel they will be world beaters in time to come.”


Crawford recalled: “Their coach came to me and said, Mr Crawford, one of these athletes needs to have an MRI but he doesn’t have the funding...I made some enquiries and it was done.


“He brought another athlete, we talking about Olympic potentials, she did not have a proper pair of shoes or equipment to train. I’m saying these things so you all could understand how important these things are...


“Ladies and gentlemen, to win an Olympic gold medal is not easy. You need a lot of support, especially our younger athletes...The reason I stay with it is that we have a lot of very, very poor athletes. If we really want to win these 10 gold medals, we need to really come forward and support Mr Lewis.”


Speaking to the Express later about his offer, Crawford elaborated: “I am offering to them (for the medal and gear) to be leased to some company and the proceeds will go towards the Olympic Association.


He added: “It doesn’t make sense me having it in my house, it’s for Trinidad and Tobago.”


Crawford said he has other projects in mind, the full details of which are still to be worked out.


In response, a still shocked Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, who walked Sunday’s T&T International Marathon to kick off the Welfare and Preparation Fund said: “The gesture is awesome. I’m almost speechless at what Hasely Crawford today has offered to do, not only in support of not only the provision of 10 Olympic medals by the year 2024, but the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. I didn’t come here anticipating that was going to happen.”