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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…
May 31, 2020


May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…

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Do not flinch in the face of adversity
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An open letter to sport BlackLivesMatter
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T&T is in a dif­fi­cult place right now and it is im­por­tant to re­main pos­i­tive.

I don't like us­ing a war anal­o­gy but its as if we are in a war, a fierce bat­tle­field and at times, we are over­whelmed by the scale and in­ten­si­ty of the en­e­my fire.

How do we keep our com­po­sure and con­cen­tra­tion in the face of such a bar­rage?

On Sat­ur­day, while in To­ba­go, I re­ceived the news while at break­fast that there was an ac­ci­dent on the Beetham High­way and a group of cy­clists were in­volved, among them were Joe Brown and BPTT em­ploy­ee Joan­na Banks.

It was, to say the least, the most up­set­ting news and in the era of so­cial me­dia al­most im­me­di­ate­ly videos, that should have had a dis­claimer that they were graph­ic and dis­turb­ing, were in cir­cu­la­tion.

Calls were made to ver­i­fy the news and un­for­tu­nate­ly, it was true.

Brown played rug­by for Trinidad North­ern Rug­by Club when he ar­rived in T&T on as­sign­ment. Very soon his rep­u­ta­tion had grown as a tough op­po­nent very phys­i­cal and as hard as gran­ite on the rug­by field.

It was a chal­lenge at first to rec­on­cile such an ag­gra­vat­ing and abra­sive per­sona with an oval ball in his hand or when he was at­tempt­ing to dis­lodge it with his culi­nary and cre­ative skills.

The mem­bers of Slip­stream cy­cling club would be dev­as­tat­ed and trau­ma­tised by such a trag­ic ac­ci­dent.

There are no words of com­fort that can be said to the fam­i­lies, friends and col­leagues of Joe, Joan­na and Leroy Cal­liste, an­oth­er cy­clist who re­cent­ly lost his life in a road ac­ci­dent. Cal­liste, 64, was rid­ing his bi­cy­cle along the PBR, near a WASA fa­cil­i­ty, when he was struck. They were do­ing an ac­tiv­i­ty that they were each pas­sion­ate about and loved.

Joe made a con­tri­bu­tion to T&T. His pass­ing is made even more pro­found by the irony of it all.

Road Safe­ty or­gan­i­sa­tion Ar­rive Alive will be hold­ing a "Day of Re­mem­brance" for road traf­fic vic­tims on the week­end of No­vem­ber 17-18, and Joe, who was a part spon­sor of pre­vi­ous Re­mem­brance events, will be re­mem­bered on that day.

Ac­ci­dents can and will hap­pen and there are a myr­i­ad of philo­soph­i­cal thoughts and views about death and dy­ing. But it must be said that there is an at­ti­tude of dis­re­spect shown by many dri­vers on the road when they en­counter cy­clists, run­ners, jog­gers and walk­ers.

I my­self on my long walks to Mara­cas Beach have had to deal with dri­vers who seem to be­lieve on­ly mo­tor ve­hi­cles should be on the road.

Why should keep­ing fit be a high-risk ac­tiv­i­ty?

As dif­fi­cult and painful as the loss may be to all those who knew Joe and Joan­na, giv­ing up the bike or the ride, is not what will ho­n­our their mem­o­ry.

Yes, I know that is eas­i­er said than done. What is need­ed is to con­tin­ue the bat­tle for safer roads for cy­clists, jog­gers and run­ners.

If we want a health­i­er more phys­i­cal­ly ac­tive T&T, peo­ple must feel rel­a­tive­ly safe when they go out to ex­er­cise. Ex­er­cis­ing shouldn't be Russ­ian roulette.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the pres­i­dent of T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the views ex­pressed are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.