At the recent Awards Ceremony of the National Amateur Athletics Association, NAAA, of Trinidad and Tobago I delivered the following Feature Address. I believe that the points are pertinent to the development of athletics everywhere in the Caribbean and hence the importance of offering it here for public scrutiny.
Today is a very special day in the life of the National Amateur Athletics Association of Trinidad and Tobago.Indeed, today is a very special day in the life of Athletics in this beautiful country, Trinidad and Tobago.
The reason is simple. Today is a day we celebrate excellence in Athletics in Trinidad and Tobago.
Today is a day when we come together as an athletics fraternity, an athletics family, to honour in public those who by their sheer hard work contributed in no small measure to the rich legacy that this country has enjoyed in track and field athletics. Let us not fool ourselves. Those of you who will, at the end of this ceremony, walk away with the awards that the NAAA has presented to you, will nonetheless walk away with much more.
You will walk away with the knowledge that you are in the footsteps of legendary contributors to our sport, Athletics, the Queen of all sports. You will walk away with the knowledge that you have joined an elite group, all significant contributors to excellence.
I must congratulate all of you who have won awards. You must have been most deserving of them. Keep up the good work. You already know the rewards for your commitment to the training demands of our sport.
I urge each of you to allow the same fire, passion that inspired this country’s lone Olympic Gold medallist, track and field icon, Hasely Crawford, to burn within you each day of your competitive career. Follow with profound interest the achievements of the evergreen Ato Boldon, and the outstanding Wendell Mottley and Edwin Roberts, to name a few.
But today is also a day for us to congratulate all those who have in any way contributed to the successful year that 2006 has been for Athletics in Trinidad and Tobago. We in the global Athletics fraternity extend our sincere gratitude to you and urge you to stay with our sport. Your contributions as athletes, coaches, technical officials, administrators and general volunteers, are sincerely appreciated by all of us.