naaatt :: media_artricles :: 2019
Juniors start NAAATT Championship seriesKelvin "N" :: Trinidad Guardian :: 07.06.2019
The National Gas Company (NGC)/National Association of Athletic Administrators of T&T (NAAATT) Championship Series was launched on Thursday at the T&T North Room of the Radisson Hotel on Wrightson Road in Port-of-Spain.
Speaking at the launch, president of the NAAATT, Ephraim Serrette said, "We may not be the most popular sport but we are the most successful. He was speaking about the success of track and field at the Olympics. T&T have won 19 Olympic medals and I am happy to state that track and field are responsible for 15.
"Our Championships assist many smaller federation in the region. They depend on us. But I want to invite each and everyone to come out to the Junior Championship this weekend at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and make it your business to come out to the Juvenile Championship on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of June.
"This is the biggest event in terms of participation. It is a mystery though after viewing the number of participants at the juvenile level then you see a major drop at the junior and the senior levels."
In his address, Serrette used the opportunity to thank the sponsors for their assistance to sport over the years.
He said, "We must thank the Sponsors, the Ministry of Sport, the Sport Company of T&T, NGC, Sagicor, Republic Bank and Kenneth Ferguson."
Serrette went on to say that the aim of the NAAATT is to become self-sustainable and it means getting more corporate organisations on board.
"Our budget from the government of T&T is two to five million and we need 14 million to manage the sport of track and field in the country. Therefore, corporate T&T has their role to play in the development of the sport. Without sponsors, we will be unable to have Championships.
"This not about the medals, it is about education and giving our athletes a better quality of life but in the end, all our leading athletes must understand that performing at the championship is part of the selection criteria."
Miles Lewis of the National Gas Company (NGC) lauded the NAAA for their performance over the years saying: "Sports bring people together and it is so good for all when our local track and field athletes outperform their formidable rivals internationally.
"The IAAF World Really 4 x 400 metres team in Japan was a sterling example. We at NGC have been sponsoring for 20 years and we must find a formula to garner public support for our athletes. We must continue to work on cultivating our budding athletes. NGC is committed to this development. We celebrated after Japan and I know we will be celebrating next July at the Olympics as we push our athletes to greater heights and greater glory."
Ferguson, founder of Kenson Group, a service contractor to Oil and Gas Companies in the Energy Sector based in San Fernando, had the audience rocking with his straightforward speech.
"I am here to make a donation to the NAAA for the championship. I have my business in South and you are aware, South has the money. This morning my friend who I play golf with, asked me where I was going and I told them to the NAAA function and they wanted to know why I was giving up playing golf to go to a function. They really don't know the work of the NAAA and we need to get more businessmen, small and medium on board. There are many businessmen who are willing to contribute and the NAAA must tap into this. One by one you full the basket," he quipped.
The Series begin tomorrow with the NGC/NAAATT Junior Championship, which runs through to Sunday; the NGC/NAAATT Juvenile Championship is on the weekend of June 15-16; the Republic Bank/NAAATT Relay Festival is carded for June 29; and the NGC/SAGICOR/NAAATT Open Championships from July 26-28.
Kenson Group founder Kenneth Ferguson, second from right, has the attention of Christopher Aird of Republic Bank, from left, NAAA president Ephraim Serrette, Miles Lewis of NGC and secretary of the NAAA, Dexter Voisin, at the NAAA Championship Series launch at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Anthony Harris