Despite challenges with training facilities, unavailability of the Dwight Yorke stadium and financial constraints, Tobago athletes are healthier and more determined than athletes in Trinidad.
So said Kabir Hosein, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) at the 18th annual award and dinner ceremony of the Falcons Athletic Club last Sunday at the Dept of Works conference room, Old Government Farm Road, Shaw Park.
Hosein also said 2017 was an extremely productive year for athletics in the country.
“Traditionally, for the Olympic year we would see a spike in participation and registration, not alone for athletes but for coaches and other officials. The post-Olympic year, we would see a significant drop. For 2017, we broke a record and we have only received a 20 percent decrease, which translates to 1.5 percent in our registration,” Hosein noted.
He said for Tobago, the statistics were different, that there was an increase in participation from the island’s athletes this year as oppose to 2015 and 2016.
Hosein also said the medical status of athletes continues to be at a “worrying state,” with the transition from juvenile to junior and from junior to senior levels but that the reports from Tobago were positive.
“I must say it is commendable that the rate attrition in those age groups in Tobago, in particular the Falcons Athletic Club, is not as grave as the others. So, whatever the formula in Tobago is, we at the NAAA support you. That is remarkable coming from a financial background and analysing the data. These are some of the thing we will be looking forward to and Tobago needs to be congratulated for that,” he said.
Hosein also predicted that 2018 would be a challenging year for athletes in TT and called for greater collaboration.
“In the face of challenges, we need collaboration, without collaboration at the Falcons Athletic Club you would not have been here today. Communication is key, we need to communicate with each other. We need to exchange services and be on the same page. The NAAA looks forward and embrace the challenges for 2018 and possibly 2019. We can only achieve success if we collaborate and communicate with each other,” he said.
He encouraged Tobago athletes to continue to be strong through challenging times.
“I have lived adversities and now I’m living a dream. My dream is to be gainfully employed and contribute to sports in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and by extension humanity and I’m doing that today. What we have in common is that we faced adversity, learned from it, we embraced failures and we didn’t allow our failures to keep us down. In the face of adversity, I dug deep, I needed to carry on and I focused and
channelled my energy, which I could not off the field, on the field,” he said.