Buenos Aires 2018 is done and dust­ed T&T Youth Olympic Games team re­turned home to weath­er tur­moil and flood-re­lat­ed is­sues.

The op­por­tu­ni­ty to com­pete with and in­ter­act with their peers from around the globe will prove price­less.

Team TTO's 13 ath­lete del­e­ga­tion com­pet­ed in three sports- cy­cling, track and field and fut­sal in Ar­genti­na. The girls' fut­sal team of ten play­ers en­sured that fe­males made up the ma­jor­i­ty of the team.

It's al­ways in­struc­tive the scruti­ny which Team TTO ath­letes are giv­en. This is both un­der­stand­able and wel­comed. But con­text is im­por­tant. The T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) be­lieves that in­vest­ing in this coun­try's par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Youth Olympic Games and Youth Com­mon­wealth Games are need­ed in­vest­ments in the fu­ture.

The per­for­mance at the Youth Games is de­vel­op­ment fo­cused.

Speak­ing about youth de­vel­op­ment the at­ten­dance of a youth­ful con­tin­gent of Cougars track and field club led by the tal­ent­ed teenag­er Shani­qua Bas­combe was a re­fresh­ing fea­ture of the TTOC sec­ond an­nu­al "Ad­vanc­ing Women in Lead­er­ship" fo­rum held at Na­tion­al Rac­quet Sports Cen­tre in Tacarigua.

The ad­verse weath­er and flood­ing caused a num­ber of par­tic­i­pants to be un­avoid­ably ab­sent. Strand­ed and un­able to get past flood wa­ters many used What­sapp to con­vey their frus­tra­tion.

Some 105 par­tic­i­pants were reg­is­tered and with over 70 turn­ing up, the fo­rum was a suc­cess by any mea­sure.

Among the par­tic­i­pants lis­ten­ing at­ten­tive­ly to Min­is­ter of Sport and Youth Af­fairs Sham­fa Cud­joe were Caribbean par­tic­i­pants from Bar­ba­dos, St Kitts and Nevis and Suri­name.

The pan­el­lists and the pro­gramme agen­da al­lowed for ven­ti­la­tion of a myr­i­ad of is­sues and con­cerns in re­spect of women and girls in sport. One pan­el­list, Kwanieze John, told the au­di­ence that lead­er­ship train­ing should start at the pri­ma­ry school lev­el to al­le­vi­ate the lead­er­ship deficit cur­rent­ly fac­ing T&T.

That track ath­lete Shani­qua Bas­combe and her youth­ful col­leagues in­vest­ed the time and at­ten­tion to learn about ad­vanc­ing women in lead­er­ship will no doubt au­gur well for their fu­ture on and off the sports field.

Is the fu­ture fe­male? Time will tell. But cer­tain­ly hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tions and rais­ing the aware­ness about women and girls in sports is­sues is rel­e­vant and im­por­tant if one is to judge by the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants who braved the in­clement weath­er on Sat­ur­day.

That they would have heard Min­is­ter Cud­joe com­mit to ad­vanc­ing women in lead­er­ship would have en­cour­aged and mo­ti­vat­ed not on­ly the fe­males but al­so the males in at­ten­dance.

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.