The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is hoping to score big for the 39th edition of the TT International Marathon, which will be held on January 26.
Since 2015, TTOC has been using the marathon as a major fund-raiser for its Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund and is seeking further support for athletes in preparations for the Tokyo Olympics in July.
President of TTOC Brian Lewis said, “We started off this venture in 2015 to launch the 10 Golds2024 and the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund and it continues to serve its purpose in terms of raising awareness.
“What keeps me motivated to participate in the marathon is remembering that it’s for the athletes and it forms a key part of how the TTOC
supports the athletes especially (through) the medal bonus. It is a big picture that keeps me energised. ”
On his personal readiness for the race, he said, “My preparations weren’t ideal, I’m always striving to do a better time than the year before. The marathon is an event that always keep you in check and telling yourself, don’t get carried away!
“However, I am always excited because I know it is for the athlete because what we are doing is no different to what other Olympic Committees are doing. For instance, USA has a very large philanthropy culture and they are able to raise a lot of funds and get donations.”
Lewis said he prefers the marathon’s new route via the Eastern Main Road main road( this section of the marathon was previously along the Priority Bus Route) because of the interactions with the crowd. He also said the executive of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), of which he is the president, will join him in the 26.2-mile race. Lewis also speaking on the other initiatives of the Olympic Committee.
“TTOC has also launched the initiatives #ActiveTTO and #GetMovingTTO, which is an effort to address the obesity epidemic going on in the country. It is encouraging people to get active with a cause.”
He added, “We also have the virtual 5k that we began last year and we will be presenting the medals for the virtual 5k at the finish line of the marathon. It’s a twofold purpose for us. but the main priority is the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. I can clearly state that the intention was to make it into a foundation with sustainability.”