Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 15th 2015 Contents 4 | WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 15, 2015
| PROFILE |
By Roslyn Carrington
WHILE MOST GIRLS her age are just getting used to the
idea of being a teenager, trying on their first pair of high
heels and getting a grip on the complexities of the second-
ary school curriculum, Daniyelle Bennett has taken on a
challenge few adults would even dare to contemplate. The
13-year-old student of the International School runs her
own foundation, called Prevent Obesity in Youth. Daniyelle,
by the way, is a seasoned triathlete, and is training for qual-
ification for the Carifta Games. Not one for just giving pep-
talks and handing out flyers, Daniyelle has decided to put
her philosophy into action. She has organised a national
Ride Against Youth Obesity, which takes place on Novem-
ber 22, starting at the St Mary's Children's Home in
Tacarigua and ending at the Salibya Beach Resort.
There will be stops along the way, at Arima and Sangre
Grande, at which Daniyelle and other riders will talk to
young people about healthier living. Riders will be accom-
panied by a motorcade of family, friends and other sup-
porters. Sounds like a long haul? It is, but, she says, "There
will be transport for riders and their bikes when they get
tired. You can take a break, relax in a maxi, and then get
back on the bike when you're ready." The ride will be ac-
companied by a full police escort. All riders will return by
maxi. At the Resort, major sponsors such as Gatorade,
Yoplait, Blue Waters, Nestle and Wendy's will be there to
offer samples and promote a healthy lifestyle, and all par-
ticipants can enjoy the pool and recreational facilities. En-
trance fees for the resort will apply.
Q. Why are you having the ride?
To raise awareness of youth obesity. I want to bring about
a global change. It's not just about coming and collecting
information. It's about actively taking part, and doing what
we really want them to do.
Q. How many people are registered?
So far, about 50 or 60. The percentage of young people
has increased this year.
Q. THIS year? You've done it before?
This is the third year.
(At this point, I stop and boggle at the fact that Daniyelle
would have organised her first ride when she was 11.)
Q. Tell me about the young people.
We have about 12 schools involved, and many are coming
out to support us at the stops.
Q. How did you get this idea?
I ride a lot for triathlon training and I always enjoyed long
rides, especially in groups. I thought a big group ride would
catch the public's eye.
Q. Why have you taken on this responsibility?
It was a personal choice. I realised that at one point T&T
was the 3rd most obese nation. I wanted to let my country
know we had a problem and needed to do something
about it. I knew I had the ability and the support.
Q. Who do you get the support from?
The people I am surrounded by, my team mates, my
school, and my parents (Daniyelle's mother, Dr. Michelle
Trotman, is a sleep and respiration specialist, and her fa-
ther, Neil Bennett, is a retired military officer.)
Q. How do you expect to make a global change?
People who come to the ride can pass it on to their fami-
lies; families pass it on to their communities; who pass it
on to the nation; who pass it on to the world. It's a domino
Q. You overcame being overweight yourself?
When I first started triathlon training, it was to get in
shape. That's what drove me to do this. I was confident
that I could do it. I was nervous but I overcame it and
looked for the greater good in it all. I know it's a really great
initiative and I'm happy with what I've done and what I
continue to do.
Daniyelle's courage and convictions. We're always talking
about why young people don't "do something productive";
now that one is, it's up to us adults to have their backs. As
weak a rider as I am, I'll definitely be there, supporting
Daniyelle in her heroic effort. You should, too!
• You can find more information at
email@example.com, or call 495-4063
or 375-4481. If you can't ride, join the motorcade!
Daniyelle with Team-mates Hayden Reid,
left and Ayomide Gilbert-Semper, right.
Daniyelle and parents
Links Archive November 14th 2015 November 16th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page