The sport of cycling, through the success of its young and upcoming athletes, is making a resurgence on the national stage. This is the belief of all who attended the reception at Piarco International Airport on Saturday to welcome home cycling’s newest stars. Jodi Goodridge, Aziza Browne, Kwesi Browne, Justin Roberts and Samuel Mahabir were the junior cyclists who exceeded expectations to bring home three medals from the Pan American Junior Cycling Championships held last week in Guatemala. Jodi Goodridge bettered national junior and senior records with her Bronze medal ride in the 500m Time Trial, and combined with Aziza Browne to capture Gold in the Team Sprint event. The boys also won Gold in the Team Sprint.
According to the Honourable Anil Roberts, Minister of Sport who was on hand to join the welcome party, few sports rival cycling for the team spirit it engenders. Referencing the relay events in his own sport of swimming, Minister Roberts noted that although cycling is largely an individual sport, when athletes combine to form a team, the performances are usually much improved as the athlete is not executing just for themselves. Minister Roberts was in high praise of the youngsters for their discipline and camaraderie against competitors from larger countries.
Minister Roberts also buoyed the spirit of the audience of TT Cycling Federation executives and Arima Wheelers Club members present by announcing the commencement of ground and drainage works for the National Velodrome at Couva. In addition to the modern 250m wood track for competition, Minister Roberts hinted the possibility of expanding the facility to include a 333m outdoor concrete track for training, given the condition and suitability of cycling facilities at Arima and San Fernando, over which the Ministry of Sport has no control or responsibility. In more facility updates, the Minister also announced a long-awaited upgrade of the cycle track, by the Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago, at Irwin Park in Siparia; the hometown of London-bound Njisane Phillips.
The Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago congratulates the young athletes on their achievements and urges their continued focus and commitment as they train towards the National Cycling Championships starting next week as well as the World Junior Cycling Championships in New Zealand in August.