Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 13th 2015 Contents A23
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The incredible demands placed on professional
athletes inevitably cases the occupation to become
a selfish one. For athletes, days are typically con-
sumed with all types of self improvement.
However in my opinion it s better than being driven
by the single mindedness of simply trying to make
more and more money. But, even it rings hollow
against the likes of nurses, doctors and social workers
who make a real lasting difference by healing, mit-
igating pain and improving lives.
Sadly though, for most people the sum total of
their life s work and careers ends up being just their
financial assets, or a collection of records that
inevitably get broken, and medals that tarnish as the
passing of time saps their youth and vitality. How
terrible it must feel to look back at the end and realise
that it was all for nothing, and to know that this
world would have been no better of a place if they
never even existed.
Even though sport is an inherently selfish occu-
pation, it does provide the opportunity to make a
difference by touching lives and inspiring others to
even greater heights. Thanks to the help of Atlantic,
Oasis Water and The Sport Company of T&T, our
small national swimming community will once again
benefit from being visited, inspired and coached by
Olympic medalists and some of the greatest legends
of the sport in the George Bovell Dive In Free Swim
Clinics 2015. Free of charge!
I have tapped into my peer group from the inter-
national swimming circuit and persuaded three of
them to take time out of their busy schedules and
travel far to meet us here in Trinidad; our relative-
ly-insignificant microcosm. I am honoured and excited
to announce that this year will be the greatest initiative
of its kind in our country s history as we will be
joined by the likes of:
Roland Schoeman---eight-time world record holder,
Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist, and three-
time world champion from South Africa.
Arkady Vyatchanin---twice Olympic bronze medalist,
twice World Championship silver medalist and Euro-
pean champion from Russia.
Moss Burmester---World champi-
on, World Championship Silver
Medalist, Commonwealth cham-
pion and fourth place finisher in
the Olympics from New Zealand.
I feel compelled to
challenge and facil-
itate this next
the opportunities that were never available to us
growing up. Looking back, as a young swimmer in
the early 90s coming up through the age group
ranks, we did the best that we could with the limited
knowledge and third world resources that we had
available to us.
However, It wasn t the poor facilities or the lack
of elite coaching that were our biggest limiting factors,
but rather our handicapped ability to dream. We
simply could not conceptualise a reality in our wildest
imaginations in where we could be great champions.
World Records, Olympic and World Championship
Medals were for those big countries that we had
heard of in the movies that reached us.
We were satisfied with our lowly aspirations of
beating St Lucians and Barbadians who also suffered
from similar stunted ambition. No one we had ever
known of, or as a matter of fact even heard of had
been great. Swimming was a sport to be passionate
about until common entrance, or maybe if you were
tough and smart, you saw it through until the CXC
Even with empowering social programmes like
Gate for education, this travesty continues, and it s
not for a lack of means. Today most young people
in T&T will shortchange the talent and potential they
have been blessed with, simply because they still
lack the ability to dream and aspire to greatness.
Their ambition is handicapped because no one
from their local community has achieved inspirational
success in any field, they are incapable of imagining
it. So instead they aspire to be just what they know
can be done locally, just as how we used to aspire
to beat St Lucia in swimming.
In some communities greatness is seen as notoriety
and providing for the community through crime and
thus the vicious cycle of gangland violence is per-
Swimming is supposed to be a fun, healthy oppor-
tunity to learn valuable life lessons. The truth is that
not everyone can become an Olympic medalist, but
through sport anyone can learn what it takes to
become great at whatever esteemed field they choose
to imagine and work towards.
Under the personal tutelage of these visiting
Olympic and World champions our local swimming
community will undoubtedly learn some training
methods, skills and drills that will immediately make
them improve, guaranteed. More importantly though,
my hope is that through personal interaction and
discourse with these living legends we can impart in
our youth first hand what it takes to be great, get
them to believe it s possible and then inspire a gen-
eration to greatness in life.
Follow George on Twitter: @georgebovell
Let's inspire a generation
The bold and gorgeous Viola Davis rocked a red strapless Donna Karan Atelier
gown for her big night as a Best Actress in a TV Drama nominee. AP PHOTO
Venue: Blue Dolphins Swim Club, St James
Venue: Centre of Excellence, Macoya
Venue: St Michael's Pool, San Fernando
Time: 9 am---noon
The public is free to visit sessions, pool spaces are
limited and are handled by the National Federation
and their affiliated swim clubs.
GEORGE BOVELL DIVE IN CLINICS
be here for
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