MSCD Director of Physical Education and Sport delivers remarks at Olympic send-off for Andrew Lewis
Remarks by Gabre Mc Tair
Director, Physical Education and Sport
Ministry of Sport and Community Development
Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries,
His Worship Joel Martinez, Mayor of the City of Port of Spain,
Mr. Douglas Camacho, Chairman, Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago,
Mr. Brian Lewis, President, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC),
Mr. Peter Knox, President, Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association,
Sponsor representatives from Atlantic, Republic Bank, Tatil, and CEMEX/TCL,
Our esteemed Olympic athlete, Mr. Andrew Lewis,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, much has been said about Andrew’s prolific career as a laser sailor, and his championing of sport development through the “Mentorship through sailing” initiative and establishment of the Andrew Lewis Foundation 13 years ago. In January, he injected much needed joy into our national consciousness by qualifying for the 2021 Olympics at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, Florida. This victory was preceded by an impressive finish at the XXII Canarian Sailing Olympic Week in Las Palmas, Spain a few months ago.
Andrew’s character stands as tall as his sail. In a recent podcast posted by buzzsprout.com, he reminded us an important athlete’s oath. He shared that “ My journey is not about winning or losing. It is about learning on the entire journey of who I am as a person.” Athletes do thrive to be the best in their discipline, but more importantly, they use sport to discover the best version of themselves. They take this discovery and ignite a flame in others, and in Andrew’s case, the mentees of his Foundation and participants of the sailing workshops are proudly carrying that flame.
The Sport Company recently hosted the media launch of its NGB Capacity Building Workshop, and among the few athletes sitting in the room was Andrew. Andrew continues to demonstrate that Laser sailing is not just a competitive sport to him. He understands that it is a driver of social and economic development. He sees vast potential for sailing in Trinidad and Tobago, and it is up to us leaders and corporate partners to map out his vision.
We at the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, and the broader Government of Trinidad and Tobago, are tremendously proud of your resilience and presence in our communities. I cannot adequately express the significance of your Olympic dream, as well as the Olympic dreams of all other athletes, to our nation during this pandemic. We not only wish you the very best in your quest, but wish to reassure you that we will continue to stand with you as you develop future Olympic sailors in Trinidad and Tobago.
In the podcast you talked about understanding and navigating the “wind, waves and currents in our sport”, and the same principle applies to every day life. Thank you for imparting your wisdom unto us, and I want to echo your very own words and I end my brief delivery- “If we do the hard things in life, life will be easy. If we do the easy things in life, life will be hard.”
On behalf of the Minister of Sport and Community Development the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, who could not attend this afternoon’s event, I congratulate you, the TTOC, TTSA, and all sponsors for arriving at this moment. Go forth and continue to show the world that this tiny twin-island nation can produce world-class sailors.
We bid you the very best!