Just about one month ago I embarked upon and successfully completed the 26.2 mile journey that constituted the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon from Freeport to Port of Spain.
The marathon walk had no other motive than to raise awareness, attention and funding for the 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by the year 2024 athlete welfare and preparation.
I accept that there are individuals inside and outside sport who don’t share the view that the concern I am trying to highlight has merit or substance. For reasons best known to themselves they refuse to acknowledge, admit or accept that there is need to provide more meaningful financial support to the young talented and dedicated sons and daughters of our soil.
The marathon walk enjoyed its moment in the sun but like everything else the major risk is that the objectives and goals will be subsumed by the nine day wonder syndrome.
It’s a syndrome that saps the spirit as well-intentioned efforts become an exercise in futility—quickly sinking into an ocean of insincerity and hypocrisy ending up on the sea bed of frustration, meaninglessness and cynicism.
If I have to walk a marathon every single day I will however remain dedicated to the cause of our talented sons and daughters who aspire to become Olympic champions.
This is a time for choosing if we want to be a part of creating a great society.
As we go about our daily lives there is a need for us to give a full day’s work for a day’s pay.
It applies not only to those earning a salary in the private and public sector. It doesn’t matter if you are a volunteer sport administrator, an athlete or a coach. Its more than just a monetary value — it’s about the effort you give and the purpose with which you live your life.
When we give a full day’s work for a day’s pay we remain eternally vigilant and pay forward to the next generation and the generation to come. We see ourselves as custodians and stewards of the totality of the space called La Trinity—Trinidad and Tobago.
When we give a full day’s work for a full day’s work for a day’s pay we honour the notion of national pride and civic duty that builds a nation.
Great leaders such as Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi have shown that a nation is first founded on the stories that it tells — and silences — to justify its existence.
Their messages and example have taught organisation and the importance of attacking the issues of the day and era. They didn’t talk around issues; they attacked them head on in the battleground of social awareness.
Those of us born and bred in the space called T&T carry in our bosoms a duty to not allow our secret frustrations to keep us from being a champion of hope to the young people of this nation. You can’t think negative thoughts and live a positive life. We can all do something of significance and life a live of purpose. The grass isn’t greener somewhere else. We have to say to the youth and young people of this nation don’t quit on yourself, your job, your life, your dream or your country. Don’t throw in the towel and walk away. Don’t just go through the motions.
Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the National Olympic Committee.
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