RENOWNED local coach Dr Ian Hypolite will finally get a national award, over four years after one was promised to him for guiding 400m hurdler Jehue Gordon to a gold medal at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Despite the snub at the 2014 national awards, Dr Hypolite told Newsday yesterday he harbours no hard feelings as he coaches for the “love not the likes.”
The embarrassing situation occurred after it was announced by then Minister of Sport Anil Roberts in 2013 that Gordon would be given the Chaconia Gold Medal, and Hypolite would be the recipient of Chaconia Silver. Gordon did receive his award that same year but Dr Hypolite was blanked. In August 2014, he received a letter from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, informing him that the Cabinet decision to award him Chaconia Silver had been rescinded.
Dr Hypolite, who was the head coach of the TT track and field team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said despite his unfortunate experience in 2014, he is happy to be recognised now.
“I will say now as I said then, when I set out to make a contribution it is in the labour of love, I never set out to win an award...I have moved past that and I am very happy to be recognised. I have done this for the love, not for the likes, as I said I never set out to win an award, but it is always very satisfying when your hard work and your contribution is recognised and I feel honoured.”
Dr Hypolite – also a psychiatrist – has been a track and field coach for 25 years. He will receive Hummingbird Gold at the 2018 National Award Ceremony at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Port of Spain from 6 pm, tonight.
“Outside of my career I have devoted my life to sport and track and field in particular. I feel honoured that my voluntary service is in fact recognised,” Dr Hypolite said.
He was selected as the 2013 Coach of the Year by the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association.
The 2016 TT Olympic Chef de Mission said he is fortunate to coach athletes who have won medals at junior and senior games, but is glad he has also helped athletes pursue their dream by gaining scholarships.
“Every effort has been satisfying for me, particularly the preparation of these athletes and also the outcome.”