Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2017 Contents A38 sports
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Are you a true fan or supporter?
The more things change, the more they stay
The English Oxford Dictionary defines a supporter
as a person who is actively interested in and wishes
success for a particular sports team, while the English
Collins Dictionary defines a sport fan as a person who
is enthusiastic about sports.
I am sure there are many definitions but I am also
certain that the contest will remain the same.
For the sportsmen and sportswomen of this country,
there can be little doubt that the words above ring
through every single day.
It matters not, who is in control, who is in power,
who makes the decisions, who is the boss!
There is only ever, one outcome---"Our athletes in
whatever sport they endeavour to participate suffer
and pay the ultimate price of losing their focus, and
eventually giving up on their respective careers."
None of what was said above is unknown, but in this
country we have decided to just accept this without
trying to change.
It is for that reason, that those that criticise athletes
at times for their apparent errant behaviour off the
field of sport, are ignorant of the trials and tribulations
that are experienced daily.
So yet again, we have to ask ourselves what can be
done, so as to ensure our athletes remain in sport,
and let me again say, "We all need to look into the
mirror and watch the reflection that either allows
the problems to occur, or just encourages or ignores
it, in all instances, we are to be blamed."
T&T has never been a supportive country in the
growing stages of an athlete's career, instead, we are
the first to criticise and express our disappointment
on our own without knowing all the facts. It is perhaps
something within us, that enjoys the failure of others,
so much so that we are quick to write off youngsters
and in the 20s.
Notwithstanding, some of our sportspersons, based
on their education and mental strength, have sadly
accepted and grown accustomed to the stark reality,
that is, the Trinidad and Tobago sports fan.
Last weekend, the NAAA staged the National
Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and
a number of T&T's leading athletes were on display
over the three days, yet still, the attendance was only
around 3,000. This is certainly not good enough and
suggests that the very same persons who, without
spending their time to get to watch and know who are
our sporting representatives are, are always ready and
willing to condemn the international performances of
our athletes once the results don't meet their standard.
Yet, we forget, that many of those that represent
team TTO in Track and Field, do this mainly at
their own cost with reimbursements at least one,
if not two years behind. In fact, I can tell you
that some athletes got their 2015 subventions last
year, and to date nothing more, but they still keep
going and grinding for the red, white and black.
In fact, it has been widely reported that only
one athlete has received funding for this current
season. A number of them have been forced to
depend on their parents for support through
loans and doing odd jobs. In other words, our
so-called professional athletes are now semi-
pros. Thank God some of them are benefiting
from their respective schools in the USA , so
that they do not have to depend on T&T's Elite
So instead of coming to the Hasely Crawford
Stadium and paying $75 TT a day on Saturday
and Sunday to witness the best in this country
perform, many persons choose to do something
else and while there is nothing wrong with that
on the surface, it calls into question, how much
do you really care for your country and how much
of a fan are you compared to how much of a sup-
porter you are.
The true fans and supporters of sport stay
around for a long time, in good times and in
challenging times, because they understand and
know how vital and important they are.
Again, are you a true fan or a true supporter
of T&T sports?
Tyriq Hosford of Zenith had to settle for third place
with a distance of 66.80m in the men's javelin event
on the final day of the 2017 NAAA NGC/Sagicor
National Championships at the Hasely Crawford
Stadium, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday. PHOTO: CA-IMAGES
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