Shaquille ready to run for TT in Brazil Olympics
Wednesday, July 4 2012
Eighteen-year-old Shaquille Roberts has his sights set on representing Trinidad and Tobago in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Roberts, of Toco, felt inspired to achieve his goal to be a distance runner after running in the Olympic Torch Relay through Nottinghamshire in the United Kingdom on June 28, ahead of the London 2012 games which begins on July 27.
“I still can’t believe I held the Olympic Torch in London. Running with the torch for those few minutes, I was feeling like I was running the 1,500 metres at the Olympics in Brazil 2016 heading for the finish line first and thinking it would be even better than this,” he said in a statement issued on the Torch Run by the British Council in Port-of-Spain.
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), commended Roberts for his role in the International Inspiration programme through which he got the chance to take part in the Torch Run.
“I’m thrilled that Shaquille Roberts from our International Inspiration programme in TT has had the opportunity to run with the Olympic Flame. Shaquille has been a real inspiration in his community and truly demonstrates how sport can change someone’s life. Shaquille’s story is truly inspirational,” Coe said.
Roberts’ opportunity, which came as a result of his involvement in London 2012’s International Sports Legacy programme, placed him among a group of 20 young people who took part in the Olympic Torch Relay.
The programme selected one torch bearer from each of the 20 countries which were part of International Inspiration to take part in the relay. Each International Inspiration torch bearer was selected either for their commitment to inspiring children and young people in their communities through the power of sport or for the personal challenges they have overcome in their lives.
Roberts was nominated by his Physical Education and International Inspiration tutor Avianne Tobias, at Toco Secondary School, because of his growth on the programme. He has demonstrated courage, determination to excel and willingly helps others within his school and community through International Inspiration, she said. Tobias felt this experience could propel Roberts, who wants to achieve his goal of representing TT in the 2016 Olympics as a distance runner.