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Athletes say ‘Thank You’ as TTOC celebrates 75th anniversary

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has come in for high praise from Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe and this country’s Olympic athletes as the sportsmen and women share how the TTOC has impacted their professional sporting careers as the Committee celebrates 75 years of service.

Minister Cudjoe said, “The TTOC is among the most reputable, effective and productive sport institutions in the nation. The TTOC goes above and beyond the call of duty to develop our athletes, not only in their professional development, but also on their personal development. I’m pleased that the TTOC always presents itself to assist the Ministry in resolving disputes, developing programmes and policies, and providing guidance to the sporting fraternity. TTOC takes the business of sport very seriously and is always ready to champion innovative approaches to advancing sports and adding value to the local sport industry.”

She also congratulated TTOC President Brian Lewis for his commitment and dedication to his job. “Lewis’ remarkable leadership and vision continue to contribute to the excellent performance of the TTOC and remain invaluable assets to sport development in this country.”

According to Lewis, the goal of the TTOC has always been to inspire excellence in the athletes of Trinidad and Tobago to enable them to realise their full potential. Admitting that sustaining the non-profit organisation continues to be challenging, especially during Covid-19, Lewis said the TTOC “will continue to put athletes first”.

In early May, the Committee rolled out its ‘75,000 steps in 75 days’ initiative in which participants pay $75 and can either run, walk, cycle or swim. The campaign is scheduled to run until Olympic Day on June 23. The money will go towards the TTOC’s #10golds24 Athletes Welfare and Preparation Fund.

Cleopatra Borel – Shot Put: It has literally always been a pleasure for me to engage with the TTOC as a local athlete. I have always felt supported and welcomed by the organisation. For me, Olympic House pre-pandemic had been a place where I could just drop by and receive much-needed guidance and motivation or a simple cup of coffee and a smile.

I have been the benefactor of many of the policies and programmes developed and implemented by the TTOC and for that, I am eternally grateful. It has been my pleasure to witness the continued growth and development of the TTOC and I look forward to the next 75 years.

Congratulations on achieving this major milestone, and may you continue to quickly innovate in this uncertain world, dare to reach for the stars and hold fast to that which is righteous or as they say in the Olympic movement, Citius – Altius – Fortius (Faster – Higher – Stronger).

Andrew Lewis – Sailing: My association, my relationship, my connection to the TTOC started in 2007 when I was working towards creating this dream of mine of going to the Olympic Games.

The TTOC has played a massive role in the support system, especially in the last three or four years. They have revolutionised the athlete support network through people like Rheeza Grant and Lovie, Annette Knott and Mr Lewis himself—they have all played a fundamental role in my Olympic career by not only making themselves reachable but by allowing themselves to be teachable—showing them how the sport of sailing works and emphasising the importance of certain aspects where I really need support. This has allowed our relationship to stay extremely strong and created a lot of growth together.

I want to leave a very passionate sentence with them—my success today would not be possible without the TTOC. I say thank you from the bottom of my heart as they celebrate their 75th anniversary and I wish them another successful 75 and so much more.

Richard Thompson – Track and field: The TTOC has been a pleasure to work with over the years. If they’re in a position to help you they will, if not they’ll be upfront about it. That’s something you can definitely respect in this industry. Larry Romany was a visionary and put many things in place to ensure the success of many Olympians in this country. Brian Lewis took up that mantle and continued to do the groundwork to ensure our success, even though they aren’t always things that the public necessarily hears about. I’d like to wish them a Happy 75th Anniversary. Trinbagonian Olympic history has been a successful road because of their athlete-centric approach, and I encourage them to maintain that mentality as there is a high standard of expectation within our country.

Jereem Richards – Track and field: The TTOC has impacted my career by providing support and more as an athlete and educating me and other athletes about the history of sport in Trinidad and Tobago. Happy 75th Anniversary to the TTOC.

This is an edited version of an article written by Cherisse Moe and submitted by the TTOC (www.ttoc.org)