By DEXTER EDWARDS
FORMER national athlete Cuquie Melville, is passionate and ready to serve track and field in Trinidad and Tobago.
The practicing attorney-at-law was recently elected to the post of director, on the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) executive, following their Annual General Meeting at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on November 27.
Melville, who vied for the position on the slate of successful president, George Comissiong, credits the sport for the individual she is today.
She said, “Track and field has been a driving force in my development, having paved the way for me to travel the world, build a network, gained a tertiary education, and develop into a disciplined, dedicated, and well-rounded individual.
“As a result of my experiences, I view track and field as a vehicle for holistic youth development, which is vital to the advancement of our country.”
Melville, who began her athletic prowess as a member of Zenith Athletic Club, represented TT in the pentathlon and heptathlon, at the Carifta, CAC (Central American and Caribbean) and NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) Games.
She became known as the 'bronze queen', having earned bronze medals in the pentathlon event, at Carifta Games in Tobago (2003) and Bermuda (2004).
Melville also captured a bronze, in the heptathlon, at the CAC Youth Championships, held in Mexico in 2004.
The most memorable moment of her career, she said, was claiming her first Carifta bronze medal in the pentathlon, on home soil, despite nursing a shin injury.
Melville, who is the holder of a bachelor of law degree from the University of London, said she was happy to be considered for a position on the NAAA.
“I am elated to have been considered and afforded the opportunity to serve, following my short hiatus from the sport," said Melville.
“I am also delighted to form part of a diverse team, that encompasses a mixture of youth and experience, with varying backgrounds, which includes fellow Tobagonian, Durly Lucas, as second vice-president.”
Melville said that she was impressed with the goals outlined by the recently-appointed board, in pursuit of the development of athletics, on a national level, which she said, is focused on five pillars.
She outlined the five areas of focus as building on past successes, overall athlete development, enhancing support systems, taking athletics back to the communities and creating new products and opportunities.
“In light of the Board's mandate," Melville said, “I am committed to leveraging my background as a former athlete, along with my considerable education and training, to support the development of athletics, within the national arena.”
Melville pointed out that the executive recognised that Tobago has specific needs, which will require special attention and consideration. As a former Tobago athlete, she is cognisant of some areas.
She mentioned, “It is therefore, the intention of the Board, to meet with various stakeholders, including the newly installed Tobago Athletic Committee and the Division of Sport and Youth Affairs, to acquire a better understanding, of the main issues affecting athletics in Tobago, and the views of the key stakeholders, on the way forward.”
Melville continued, “It is expected that arising out of those discussions, parties will work closely, to advance the sport of athletics in the sister isle, and by extension the entire country.”
Melville also took the opportunity to thank the clubs which supported her at the NAAA elections.
She said, “I wish to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude, to all the clubs that supported my candidacy. Your support and belief in me, is my driving force. I look forward to serving you.”