National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2018


Borel tells Cougars to 'expand excellence'

Trinidad Guardian :: 23.12.2018

Feature speaker Olympian national shot put champion Cleopatra Borel wowed the young athletes during her address at the Cougars Athletics Club awards ceremony on Thursday night.

At a glitzy affair held at the VIP Room of the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain, Borel had a captive audience as she shared with the athletes and parents her experiences in her successful career. 

She opened by asking the Cougars athletes if they were satisfied with their performances for this season, to which she got a resounding: "Yes", from the enthusiastic group. 

Later on, she gave the track and field athletes the story of the "Hare and the Turtle", describing to them, the hare's confidence of winning, so it stopped during the race and slept while the turtle continued to move very slowly but without stopping and finally, wins the race. Her message to them from the story is that "you can be more successful by doing things slowly and steadily than by acting quickly and carelessly".

Borel went on to remind the group that four years ago when she spoke then at the ceremony, she had asked the athletes to step up.

"It is clear for all to see that Cougars have stepped up and shaken it off as you are the best club in T&T," said the five-time "Sportswoman of the Year" asking the Cougars club members to "expand excellence in 2019 and beyond".

"Don't take things for granted. Don't be over-confident," she said as she pointed at the banner behind her which spelt out how many times Cougars were the Juvenile champions. "Train hard as there are future champions in the club, continue to work hard."

Borel spoke of her experiences as a T&T athlete and the pressure which she had to undergo with individuals making unwelcomed statements about her before the Rio Olympics in 2016. 

"What they did not say, was what they forgot," said the national shot putter. "But I know and I am telling you today, always say, 'I am the best'. Look at me, I am standing strong. Don't worry about the naysayers, work hard to achieve your dreams. I want all the athletes of Cougars to know that you must not rest on your laurels and I want you to say with me, expand excellence."

The Cougars team did as they were told and repeated the two words vociferously as they gave her a standing ovation.

Another speaker, Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), also received a standing ovation after advising the youngsters to use adversity and seemingly hopeless situations, to elevate themselves.

Lewis said, "I lived in Belmont as a child and I was miserable too and made mistakes but I want to warn that someone is always looking. I remember when I drank sugar water or bush tea so tough was life and I did not give up. To you the Cougars family, you are the best club in the country but I see many of you, be careful. Don't bend to peer pressure.

"There is excellent potential in this club and there are many potential Olympians in our midst but we have to unlock this potential and stay on the right track. It is difficult but with the support of the Cougars family and your friends, you can make it. 

"I walk the T&T marathon to raise funds for our national Athletes as we move to win ten Gold Medals by 2024. In the marathon after 16 miles, I am a spent force and the final ten miles is pure mental. However, when I reached South Quay the reception which I received from the family of athletes in green, the Cougars Club gives me the impetus to continue.

"Thank you Cougars and I wish you the best in 2019 and Beyond. A very Merry Christmas to you all and a bright and prosperous New Year."


Borel tells Cougars to 'expand excellence'
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Borel tells Cougars to 'expand excellence'
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Borel tells Cougars to 'expand excellence'
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Borel tells Cougars to 'expand excellence'
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