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Farewell lessons from London

Published: 
Sunday, August 12, 2012
OLYMPIC JOURNAL—DAY 17

 

The London Olympics Games have been quite revealing. Sports is no longer part time. It is no longer a casual fellow or just by the way. It is no longer a passing moment, a pastime or a hobby. Sports now is serious business.  British Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that sports is a great way to unify people. Perhaps he is not alone. In T&T, we only have to look at the Strike Squad and Soca Warriors in football and our T&T cricket team at the Champions League, to understand the unbridled joy which sports bring to the nation.
 
Prime Minister Cameron is planning several changes: “If we want to have a great sporting legacy for our children, and I do, we have got to have an answer that brings the whole of society together.”
He noted that the problem, as far as sports goes, was not simply one of money, but of “some teachers not wanting to join in and play their part.” Do we have that same problem in T&T? Because most sporting organisations complain that it is hard to make inroads in schools for one reason or the other. In that regard, our sports and education ministries need to work together. We need to ensure that our teachers understand their role in this. We must build on the success of this 2012 Olympic group—12 finals, one gold and three bronze medals. The spirit and feeling of unity in the nation could be felt throught the country.  
 
Just as Deon Lendore said after the 4x400 metres relay team won bronze: “When I looked to the ground in the home straight and saw the shadow of the British runner, I said to myself: ‘No Way, No Way  he is going to pass me now...” These are telling lessons on the desire to succeed. It is this attitude we must adopt. We have learned of the outstanding support given to some of the foreign performers—Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny in cycling are the best example. There are 12 backroom staff with these cyclists. Our own Njisane Phillips participated in both the match sprint and keirin. He had two support staff. We must understand that to achieve what we did, with the little we had, was a tribute to our young athletes.

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