Mini victories for life
November 4, 2018
Remembering the dead a sign of faith*
November 4, 2018

Trevlon’s positives

Trevlon Hall

Experience dictates that the true art of storytelling is to start with the end in mind—you must simply find great stories. I am pressed for time and my editor has already sent me a note reminding me that I have a deliverable date in two and a half days. I try not to panic. Should I miss this month, or press on as my favourite quote to my kids states; ‘when a task has just begun never leave it till it’s done, be the labour great or small, do it well, or not at all’? I decide to do it exceptionally well.

I am excited to share a gem with my readers on a person whom I have known for many years and consider a member of my small and inspired inner circle. He captivates you from the moment you meet him with his vision, creativity and definitive purpose.

He is sure of himself, supremely talented and carves a niche in a way that only a self-taught artist can. Trevlon Hall, in summary is an energy alchemist; his positive energy transforms everything he touches.

Since 1997, he has become the most recognisable face of BMX freestyle. He is the first-ever national to compete in professional BMX freestyle events internationally. He has hosted top international riders in the Trevlon Hall freestyle exams, and has consistently brought the best athletes in the world to these shores as part of his BMX school tour. Trevlon has singlehandedly raised the visibility of a sport that is now an Olympic sport. As a true pioneer, and President of the T&T BMX Freestyle Association, he knows that for this sport to truly develop it requires a home for athletes to train and compete at the highest level.

In February, 2018 a release from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs stated that BMX freestyle riding will soon have a home of its own, a multipurpose facility to accommodate skateboarding, another popular international sport that is growing locally.

Inspiring as all these accomplishments may seem, Trevlon began to study digital filmmaking in 2000. He wanted to create a digital archive of BMX freestyle events. People asked him to capture other sports, and this led to him honing his skill with the camera.

Imagine the tricks, flips and sheer brilliance of an individual on a bike half their size, in mid-air; that image encapsulates the manner in which Trevlon executes everything he does—with gravity-defying fervour. He is a phenomenal storyteller.

Three months ago, he released an online video documentary series on social media entitled ‘The Positives in T & T’. He has taken his digital storytelling to another level featuring community icons, national treasures, all the positives that defy the premise ‘Is only bad things that happen in this country’.

He is inspired by people in his community, your community, every community across the country. He states, ‘Far too often our living, dying and dead icons end in their graves in Trinidad and Tobago without due recognition.’ It is a challenge faced by every single industry in the country. We are not digitally archiving the accomplishments of our icons.

The positives in T & T has featured Kenny Alfred, ‘Hearts of Maloney’ a grassroots, community-based football and academic programme; Suzette Edwards Lewis, a community performance activist; and Sensei Marva John-Logan of the Ryu Dan Dojo who transforms her business factory space into a Community/Youth Empowerment Centre to positively impact thousands of lives through the power of martial arts, social intervention, and education.

The feedback on the series has been overwhelmingly positive with numerous requests coming in for persons who want to be featured daily.  Trevlon hopes to get people excited about sharing positive stories. He uses social media as an easy and accessible format for giving a voice to the voiceless and wants to feature more stories monthly on issues such as domestic violence, animal rights, sport, art, and culture.

It is a lot of work to film, edit and produce a three- to seven-minute feature, but when the result goes viral with likes and shares in the tens of thousands he knows that he is on the right track. There is a business model that we have tapped into by harnessing the positive energy of our people. It’s the transformation of this energy that has the power to make a difference.

All we have to do is look at the recent devastation in our country and our willingness to come together as a nation. That is exactly what we are promoting through the series, the positives in T & T. For more information on the series you can visit us on Facebook – ‘the positives in T & T’

Jamila Cross is a triathlete, former professional footballer for Sevilla FC women’s Club Spain, and mother of three boys Tishad, Akim and Santiago. She is the founder of the Mariama Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation raising the storytelling bar for the Caribbean’s female athletes.