National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2017


Stewart: ‘I feel like second class citiz

Trinidad Guardian :: 02.10.2017

On the eve of this country's national budget, comes the very disheartening news, that some people do not believe that they are treated fairly.

Akeem Stewart,who won two gold medals in the Para Athletics World Championships in London a few months ago, believes that his efforts are not valued by the powers that be.

The Para athlete, who has broken several records which includes a gold medal at the Para Olympics Games in Brazil in 2016 said: "When I returned to Tobago, after the World Championships, I felt like a second class citizen, really, that's how I felt. I know the people of Tobago are supporting me. But the Tobago House of Assembly, I cannot say anything on that," Stewart expressed during a radio interview on Isports (I95.5FM) on Saturday with Andre Errol Baptiste.

He pointed out: "There are no facilities on the island for me to do proper weight training, and it appears no one is interested in getting them repaired. It's really tough because I need this sort of lifting equipment to train, but it is not available. I've spoken with the Tobago House of Assembly about the Dwight Yorke Stadium, but nothing is happening, even the Shaw Park facility is in a state of disrepair."

He added: "My dad is from the Defence Force, so I have used his strength to make me stronger. I am not doing this for me and doing it for my country, Trinidad and Tobago and then when I look at everything, I just have to shake my head. Thankfully companies like BPTT and Southern Sales have come forward to assist me."

When asked about support from the elilte funding programme which is under the Ministry of Sports, Akeem chuckled politely as he said: "I am still waiting on that, I have spoken to the Minister of Sports and he has been promising that something will happen, but meanwhile I am making it work as best as I can. It's not about me alone, what about Nyoshia Cain, she has won bronze and nothing has come her way, this is wrong and she needs to be given the proper recognition."

On the question of the Humming Bird Medal (Gold) award honour he got last Sunday (Republic Day) as against the Chaconia Medal (Gold) which will bestowed upon the 4x400 men's winning team, Stewart responded: "I am glad for any award my country has given me and I will most likely collect this award in December, as for the relay team I am happy for them, the persons who would have made the decision, they would have used a particular assessment, it does not bother me. I am happy with the Humming Bird, but again what about Nyoshia and any others. That's my concern now."

National athlete Carlos Greene, who is visually impaired and has also represented T&T in both Brazil and London agreed with Stewart, and said: "Yes, he is correct, we are treated unfairly in all avenues of sport, and also in ordinary life, it is easy to feel that you are a lesser person, and you have to be mentally strong, otherwise it is easy to just give up on representing T&T."

Stewart is aiming to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.


Stewart: ‘I feel like second class citiz
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