The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) concluded the second leg of its 13th Annual Olympic Youth Camp at Guardian Holdings Limited, Westmoorings, on the weekend.
This marked the end of a two-week camp from July 6-11 (Tobago) and 20–25 (Trinidad) that targeted athletes in the 11-14 age groups.
The theme this year ‘10Golds2024’ or “10G24” encouraged young athletes to strive for excellence in their sporting discipline and also exemplified the Olympic principles of fair play, respect for others, joy of effort and balance between body, will and mind. Youth facilitators (past campers) explained these principles through drama and team building exercises.
Life skill sessions focused on media interview training, athlete welfare, setting goals (Donald La Guerre, sport psychologist), anti–doping (Andre Collins, Caribbean Sport and Development Agency), critical thinking (Save our Children Foundation) sport for development and peace (Janine Thornhill, Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group member) and HIV-AIDS awareness (Youth Department, THA).
The closing of the camp was fashioned after the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games, with Trinidad and Tobago as the host country.
Campers paraded flags from Tokyo 1964 to London 2012 Olympics. In addition, the campers wore decorated face masks showcasing the Olympic flag, Olympic flame, peace and Trinidad and Tobago that were created for their art project during the camp.
In Trinidad, campers presented their art pieces on the 10Golds24 vision which highlighted aspects they believe are essential to achieving a gold medal. They emphasised sound morals and values, self-confidence, enjoyment of their sport, balance between school and training, respect for their competitors and support from family, friends, coaches, medical personnel and sponsors.
The campers also highlighted the significance of inclusion of the differently abled in sport, and the need to stay away from crime, violence and drugs in order to achieve their goals.
The participants were able to learn new sports from their fellow campers such as cycling, badminton, archery, triathlon, hockey, volleyball, badminton, chess, basketball, football and netball. They were also exposed to jump rope (Thandiwe Prescott).
Most impactful for the young participants was the athlete mentors; Mark Anthony Honore (Volleyball), Kieron Pollard (Cricket), Akanni Hislop (Track and Field, Youth Olympian), Pietra Gay (Basketball, Women’s NBA) Sherridan Kirk (Olympian) and Jeannette Small and Kwanieze John (Young Ambassadors Nanjing 2014 and Singapore 2010 Youth Olympics).
The TTOC will like to encourage athletes and mentors interested in the Olympic Youth Camp to send their profiles to the TTOC at firstname.lastname@example.org.