Republic Day - Yesterday saw sport hitting the headlines for all the right reasons as a number of sportspersons received national awards. Carrying the flag was Olympian and Olympic medallist Wendell Mottley. The Queens Royal College past pupil is a wonderful example of someone who achieved excellence in the classroom, sports field and as a finance professional.
It was indeed encouraging to see the young athletes receiving acknowledgement for their efforts. Dr Ian Hypolite was also honoured. All in all, it was good 42nd Republic Day for Sport in Trinidad and Tobago.
We all should join in the applause for our athletes who were honoured by Her Excellency the President Paula-Mae Weekes at NAPA, Port-of-Spain yesterday. Women's cyclist Teneil Campbell, swimmer Dylan Carter and the men's cycling trio of Nicholas Paul, Kwesi Browne and two-time Olympian Njisane Phillip together with former boxing champion Michael Paul - with the Hummingbird Medal - Silver.
Also listed is Haji Mohammed Hosein, a retired school Principal, who was honoured for his contribution to Sports and Education.
And finally, Kent Bede Bernard, who proudly competed mainly in the 400 metres event in the 1960s and 70s for T&T and Dr Ian Hypolite, who was one of the national coaches at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia, where helped guided then 21-year-old Jehue Gordon to a historic gold medal in the men's 400 metres hurdles event, and who later named the North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) Coach of the Year, were both recognised with the Hummingbird Medal - Gold.
Meanwhile, early on Republic Day morning at 4 am to be exact, the Shell Invaders Republic Day Traditional Jourvert Jump Up got underway. It was fantastic to see every creed and race coming together and having a good time. One couldn't help but notice that most present were a number of sporting personalities and icons from the past. It served as a timely reminder that there was a time in Trinidad and Tobago when sport and culture went hand in hand. Many of our sports personalities were very involved in Carnival and the steel band fraternity.
Sport, music and Trinbagonian culture reflect the best of us during this Republic Day celebrations.
Nothing showcases our quintessential Trinbagonianess like our sport and our music and the creative side of us all.
As the sun came up and the pulsating sound of our steel band music serenaded the large crowd chipping along Tragarette road and around the Queens Park Oval.
The chorus we can make it if we try rang out as those chipping along sang lustily. It seemed as if it was a statement of defiance.
We can make it if We try Trinidad and Tobago.
For six hours it was if as one the Shell Invaders led Jump Up was determined to reaffirm that this country belongs to the people of this twin-island Republic.
Trinidad and Tobago would not succumb to the criminals or the corrupt or those hell-bent on destroying or dividing our country.
A number of people were overheard saying.." they could do want they want nothing will make me leave this country Trinidad and Tobago.
It may very well have been the pure joy of sweet steel band music. Who knows. But regardless Republic Day did highlight what's great about our people and this beloved Trinidad and Tobago.
Congratulations to everyone who received national awards and in particular the sports personalities.
To Shell Invaders well done may the Republic day Traditional Jourvert Jump Up grow from strength to strength.
Brian Lewis is the President of T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the organisation.