CHILDREN from across TT got the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting events and also had words of encouragement for one national boxer trying to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, when Olympic Day was held at Lord Harris Square,Port of Spain, on Friday.
Olympic Day is today, but the TT Olympic Committee decided to celebrate on Friday.
Olympic Day is commemorated annually by over 200 national Olympic committees worldwide. The aim is to educate children on the role of sport in society and the values espoused by the Olympic movement. In keeping with these objectives, the activities strive to encourage the nation’s youth to strive for excellence, to celebrate friendship and to demonstrate respect.
Children learned the basics of sports such as boxing, rowing, basketball, rugby, gymnastics and chess. The children also enjoyed taking part in a dance routine. A number of national athletes were unfortunately out of the country for the event, but TT boxers Nigel Paul and Michael Alexander were present.
Paul, a super heavyweight boxer, said he enjoyed spending time with the children. “For me, it was really fun interacting with the kids from all over the country. I made a couple of friends, told them about my journey and what it took to make it to the Olympics. A lot of them keep coming back to the tent and they wanted to know more and do more, so it was real fun.”
Paul, who was defeated in the round of 16 at the 2016 Rio Olympics, even got some advice from the children to perform at a higher level if he qualifies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I told them what happen to me at the last Olympics and they were ‘Sir next time you go you have to make sure and win and we looking out for you.’ Knowing that the kids really following your progress and looking out for you it is something really encouraging.
They make you put your best foot forward the next time around knowing that you have these youngsters looking up at you and really wanting you to do well.” Vice-president of the TTOC Diane Henderson was glad the youngsters got the experience. “There is a nice range of sporting disciplines here, so that is good. The kids are getting to do little fun events to keep them active and engaged.”