Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2016 Contents A46
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Approaching the home stretch of
the 34th edition of the T&T Inter-
national Marathon with the finish
line in sight, a group of spectators,
who may have been early finishers,
started singing calypsonian Lord
Funny's ditty: Sweet, Sweet
Trinidad, How I love mih country
bad." It was welcoming, patriotic
music for the ears of some weary
The Team TTO group of walkers,
including yours truly, were at the end
of a 26.2 mile journey for a cause---
raising awareness and fund raising for
the 10 golds 24 athlete welfare and
The Team TTO group included
Andre Baptiste, Nigel Baptiste, Andy
Cheekes, Tony Lee, Elizabeth Griffith,
Roger Daniel, John Lum Young, Leslie
Figaro, Curtis Nero, Richard Rahim
and Dexter Skeene.
Some would have joined along the
journey. The group was certain about
one thing, we did not go to St Mary's
Junction, Freeport to start the
marathon. We went to finish it.
Vision 10 or more Olympic Gold
medals by the year 2024 was made
public in May 2013 following the
T&T Olympic Committee's (TTOC)
election that year.
The #10golds24 athlete welfare and
preparation fund was launched in
December 2014 and in January 2015
the idea to participate in the marathon
as a way to raise awareness was rolled
The support of Andre Baptiste,
Tony Lee, Dexter Skeene, Andy
Cheekes, Richard Rahim and Roger
Daniel was enthusiastic and they all
offered to do the walk in a relay.
Their enthusiasm remains fulsome
as ever and they repeated this year.
Completing a marathon is daunting.
It is never easy, especially for non
For those who choose to walk the
26.2 miles it is a different type of
Credit must be given to the Diane
Henderson led marathon committee.
They were resolute in the face of the
economic challenges and withdrawal
of sponsors. To remain focused and
determined that the marathon must
not die is commendable.
As in everything else, there are
many critics who all have an opinion
on how the marathon can be
improved. But the courage to take
on the organisation of the event
requires significant fortitude.
A marathon can be a key driver of
sport tourism if the authorities take
time to apply an open mind.
But back to the Olympic Commit-
tee's (TTOC) efforts to generate fund
raising for its 10 or more Olympic
Gold medals by the year 2024. The
marathon walk was an inspirational
The group can attest to experienc-
ing the good and the troubling aspects
of T&T but it has been mostly pos-
Coming through the Curepe junc-
tion the drunk man who made it a
point to say: "What wrong with
allyuh? is a marathon not a walking
race. Is lazy all yuh lazy."
Then there was the impatient driver
who harshly blew his horn to get the
group out of the way. It made for an
interesting experience that just fuelled
the determination of the group.
As the sun became hot and traffic
picked up, it became humid and the
fumes from the vehicles made breath-
ing at times laboured. I felt miserable,
frustrated. In physical discomfort and
fed up, I asked myself why am I doing
this? Why am I subjecting myself to
this? But focusing on the athletes and
the cause and the positive energy of
the group and words of encourage-
ment from the majority of onlookers
made the difference.
This year the introduction of an
official marathon relay added a dif-
ferent element but one that will grow.
Fay Ann Lyons led a team, Chief
Justice Ivor Archie and family partic-
ipated, Ria Ramnarine and her Fine
Line colleagues and the T&T Coast
Guard participated to support the
#10golds24 athlete welfare and prepa-
The winning team Team Olympians
led by Nicholas Landeau also sup-
ported the TTOC 10golds24 initiative.
I'm sure that with that kind of sup-
port, none of their efforts will go to
This is really Sweet, sweet Trinidad'.
And once again it showed "how we
love we country bad!"
Brian Lewis is president of the
T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC).
The views expressed here are not
necessarily those of the TTOC.
Purchase the TTOC t-shirts at all
branches of The Fan Club, Movi-
etowne, Gulf City, Trincity and Abou-
tique Malls, and support the TTOC.
THINGS THAT MATTER
Credit must be given to the
Diane Henderson led marathon
committee. They were resolute
in the face of the economic
challenges and withdrawal of
sponsors. To remain focused and
determined that the marathon
must not die is commendable.
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