Dr. Allard is hoping that the season-opener event will help in preparing the country's distance running athletes to excel in upcoming track season. "We are looking for a bumper start to the (2018/2019 Secondary Schools Track and Field) season where our student athletes are ready to show there worth. We (TTSSTFA) understand we have had some low times (poor performances) with our distance athletes in Trinidad and Tobago. So we are hoping that we can make that kind of difference at this level and they could move on to represent Trinidad (and Tobago) quite well in the distance races."
Dr. Allard is pleased with the support provided by the National Association of Athletic Administration. "We are very happy it has been NAAA sanctioned, at least that is what we have been told." He also praised the sponsors for their continued support to the association. "We have Blue Waters (Limited) that continues to be our perennial sponsor in relation to water. They (the Blue Waters officials) have indicated they want to do much more with us which is excellent." SM Jaleel, Bermudez, KISS, The Achievement Center, as well as the Institute of Health and Fitness will also be supporting the event on Sunday.
Members of T&T's Masters Track and team which competed at the 2018 World Masters Championships will be present. Among those expected with be gold medallist Gwendolyn Smith and triple medallist Oswald Rogers. Dr. Allard says the veteran atheltes will be a source of encouragment to the youngsters. "(This year) we are happy to have the masters athletes (who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the World Masters (Over 35) Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Malaga, Spain in September) with us. We are having with us Gwendolyn Smith who is six time World champion. (She won the W 50-54 javelin and was second in the Weight Pentathlon) and a dynamic gentleman Oswald Rogers in the 80-85 category (who won three medals in Spain). We hope that these folks can inspire our youths for them to see that it does not matter the age one could participate and triumph at any level. I think Trinidad and Tobago needs this type of representation and encouragement for our youth to see the importance of competing, representing and triumphing. "
Champions Toco Secondary
Members of Toco Secondary, the defending champions 2016 edition of the TTSSTFA Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. (Photo by Clayton Clarke/Sportscore)
Start of 2016 race
Competitors in the Under 16 4K at the 2016 edition of the TTSSTFA Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
(Photo by Clayton Clarke/Sportscore)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: (Thu, Oct, 18): The country's best high schools runners will be on show at the 2018 edition of the Secondary Schools Schools' Cross Country Championships and Health Fair set for the Queen's Park Savannah on Sunday, October, 28. President of the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA), Dr. Philip Allard says he is anticipating a good turn-out of athletes at this year's event with the return of students of Tobago. "We expect students from all schools in Trinidad and Tobago. We expect a bumper field from Tobago. The Tobago students have not been here in recent years and we expect excellent representation from them this year." The Tobago schools opted out over the high cost of bringing large teams to the event. The athletes will be vying for medals and trophies and according to Dr. Allard, other prizes may be available this year. "We will continue with the trophies and medals but we are considering other prizes as we may have the finances to afford more this year."
Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'
Track & Field Association