On Sat­ur­day last, I had the dis­tinct plea­sure to at­tend the As­so­ci­a­tion of Fe­male Pro­fes­sion­als of T&T (AFETT) and Youth re­cep­tion to launch the or­gan­i­sa­tion's youth arm.

There were some very in­spi­ra­tional words from Dawn Richards, Prin­ci­pal Con­sul­tant at DRA Con­sult­ing, the top­ic of her pre­sen­ta­tion was the "Pow­er of You" at the func­tion host­ed by AFETT, whose mis­sion in­cludes mak­ing women win­ners.

The ho­n­ourable Sham­fa Cud­joe, Min­is­ter of Sport and Youth Af­fairs and her cab­i­net col­league, the ho­n­ourable Dr Nyan Gads­by- Dol­ly, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment, Cul­ture and the Arts, both gave pow­er­ful speech­es tar­get­ed at the "sis­ters" in the au­di­ence. The em­pha­sis on sis­ter­hood and men­tor­ing and nur­tur­ing young women was strong­ly ad­vo­cat­ed.

It takes men­tor­ing and nur­tur­ing and it's im­por­tant to not make the as­sump­tion that young peo­ple will learn by os­mo­sis cau­tioned Min­is­ter Gads­by-Dol­ly.

In an en­vi­ron­ment where many of our youth and young peo­ple are brand­ed as "lost caus­es", it was pro­found­ly heart­en­ing to hear from Min­is­ters Gads­by-Dol­ly and Cud­joe. Their words, de­meanour and how they car­ried them­selves and pro­ject­ed their au­ra, self- es­teem and self-re­spect could on­ly have act­ed as a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple for the youth and young women in the au­di­ence.

It's pos­i­tive role mod­els such as the two Min­is­ters that young women, in par­tic­u­lar, need to look to.

It was re­gret­table that due to a pri­or com­mit­ment I was un­able to at­tend the T&T Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion awards im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter the AFETT func­tion as in T&T net­ball, there are a num­ber of pos­i­tive role mod­els for girls and young women in sport.

Yes­ter­day, I spent the day at the "Gen­der Equal­i­ty" meet­ing host­ed by the Pan Am Sports Or­gan­i­sa­tion. The fo­cus was on women in sport and the role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of women in sports com­mis­sions in the Amer­i­c­as.

Lead­ing the dis­cus­sions for T&T was Di­ane Hen­der­son, T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) vice pres­i­dent and chair of the TTOC women in sports com­mis­sion.

It's im­por­tant that at­ten­tion is giv­en to the en­vi­ron­ment sur­round­ing girls and young women in sport. The TTOC ought not to op­er­ate in a vac­u­um and must give con­sid­er­a­tion to part­ner­ing with or­gan­i­sa­tions such as AFETT to fur­ther the de­vel­op­ment of women in sport.

Work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with and part­ner­ing with oth­er like-mind­ed or­gan­i­sa­tions will fos­ter en­hanced ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­cien­cy in the ef­fort to cre­ate the path­way to gen­der equal­i­ty, di­ver­si­ty and in­clu­sion in sport.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the pres­i­dent of the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the views ex­pressed are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.