PRESIDENT of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis, said despite all the challenges for sport in 2019 the year was a successful one. He believes the new decade will bring more positivity to TT.
Lewis was speaking at the 2019 TTOC annual awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain on Sunday.
The TTOC president reflected on the memorable performances of TT's cyclists at the Pan American Games led by Nicholas Paul and Teniel Campbell, winning the bid to host the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games and ensuring TT was in compliance with the WADA anti-doping code.
Lewis said it was not always a smooth process.
"We lost some close friends, we learned that life isn’t always fair...there will be mistakes and errors made. But we must allow ourselves, we must allow our youth and young people to develop and grow. We must stop being hard and harsh to them and place demands on them that we will not place on ourselves. We must stop being hypocrites. We must support the youth and the young people. We must commit in this generation and with this generation of youths to impact them, to ensure that the next generation to come has a better opportunity."
Lewis said sport is the tool to make TT a better place but the country needs an all-hands-on-deck approach.
"Sport can make a powerful difference. Six to eight billion TT dollars are lost through non-communicable diseases. Eighty per cent of the crime in this country is caused by illegal firearms – can’t we not all join as sports people to replace guns with medals? Can’t we not use our sport to build a healthier society? But what will it require? It will require us all to change our ways and stop as the youth say: ‘toting feelings,’ put aside the bad blood, the hatred and the fighting – we must be brave."
Lewis said the leaders of sport in TT must take responsibility."We cannot be cowards, we must be brave, we can make a huge and positive difference to TT. We in sports and the Olympic and Commonwealth sports movement must accept the challenge to help contribute to change in TT."
As another decade has ended, Lewis said he anticipates a fruitful decade ahead. "I congratulate in advance the awardees – and I tell you something, the next decade will be awesome, absolutely awesome! The Olympic and sport movement will lead this country into a decade of positivity unprecedented! Have faith! Support us! And we will make you proud."