“Give it your best,” said Jehue Gordon to the beaming faces of some of the 50 athletes that will be representing T&T at the sixth Commonwealth Youth Games at a send off function hosted by the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) in the VIP Lounge at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.
The 2013 World 400 metres hurdles champion, who was the feature speaker at the event, along with Patrice Charles, acting director of sports and education in the Ministry of Sports, TTOC president Brian Lewis, Dr Keith Clifford, TTOC Secretary General Annette Knott and assistant Secretary General Nadine Khan were part of the cast present to bid the youngsters farewell and give their blessings.
“Enjoy yourself but get the job done,” said Gordon. “Everyone is going out to their best. Do not fear your competition. Give it your best. Good luck. Make T&T proud, make your family proud, make yourself proud.”
The national team which has 27 girls and 23 boys athletes will take part in nine sporting disciplines including athletics, aquatics (Swimming), beach football, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling (Road), judo, rugby sevens and tennis. It will be the first time that Judo, Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball are presented at a Commonwealth Youth Games.
They are carded to leave on Sunday to compete at the largest edition of the Games to be hosted in The Bahamas, with some 1,300 athletes aged 14-18. The competition will run from July 18-23.
A number of them got a chance to speak on behalf their respective sport expressing how it feels to be part of the local team and the hard work it took to get there. Some even went as far as predicting medal success which received cheers from the gathering which also included parents and coaches. They were cyclist Tyler Cole, Ianna Roach (track and field), Xavier Jones (judo), rugby player Fayola Jack, Emma-Rose Trestrail (tennis) and boxer Tyron Thomas.
Charles, who took the place of Minister of Sports Darryl Smith as he was out the country, encouraged the national athletes to make the most of the opportunity.
He said, “You, young athletes I see excellence in you. Demonstrate good discipline and have confidence in your ability.
Do your best and you will reap the rewards. You are all ambassadors.”
Judo fighter Luke Walker also treated the audience to another side of his multi talented self, providing entertainment on the pan before he and his fellow members of the delegation collected their kits.
It will also be the first Commonwealth Games event to be held in the Caribbean for over 50 years since the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.
Tyriq Hosford (Men’s Javelin)
Adell Colthrust (100m, 200m)
Ianna Roach (Women’s Shot Put)
Akilah Lewis (100m, 200m)
Antonia Burton (Coach)
Wade Franklyn (Coach)
George Comissiong (Manager)
(MEN AND WOMEN)
Men: Levi Fernandez, Jabari Gray, Nathaniel Brown, Immanuel Russell, Omri Baird, Juaval Roberts, Anderson Peters, Jordan Riley, Che Richards, Kevon Williams
Women: Akkasia Charles, Tamika Campbell , Jade Noreiga, Maya Blanc, Ketara Monroe, Adanya Phillip, Tsai-Anne Fernandez , Nia Honore, Asha James , J’Nae Harris
Staffe: Yuri Chapman (Manager), Arlene Paul (Manager), Chad Appoo (Coach), Jesse Bailey (Coach), Jason Pilgrim (Athletic Trainer)
(MEN AND WOMEN)
Daynte Stewart, Devaughn Martin , Tsyan Selvon, Ebony Williams
Nancy Joseph (Coach), Andrea Davis (Manager)
Justin Parris (Men’s 56kg)
Nickell Joseph (Men’s 75kg)
Tyron Thomas (Men’s 81kg)
Rawlson Dopwell (Coach)
Reynold Cox (Manager)
Robert Farrell (Coach)
David Francis (Manager)
Xavier Jones (Men’s -73kg)
Luke Walker (Men’s -90kg)
Joel Bernard (Coach)
Fayola Jack, Thea Marrast, Jamika Mellville, Shania Charles, Kendra Bournes, Talitha Forde, Alisha Antoine, Kimberly Goolie, Rochelle Burke, Daenelle Tobias, Skylette Augustine, Zakiya Belle
Rudolph Jack (Manager), Ursula Andrews-Smith (Massage Therapist/ Chaperone), Ronald Silverthorne (Coach)
Jeron Thompson (50m, 100m & 200m Breaststroke; 50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly), Joseph Mc Leod (Coach)
Emma-Rose Trestrail, Aidan Carter, Yohansey Williams (Coach)
Rheeza Grant ( Chef de Mission)
Rudranath Ramsawak (Doctor)
Karielle De Bique (Physiotherapist)
Nicole Fuentes (Massage Therapist)
Keisha Fraser (Massage Therapist)