Former 400 metres hurdles world champion Jehue Gordon is among the athletes throwing support behind the November 30 to December 5 “Race Against Time”. The virtual event is being staged by the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools’ Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA).
“Usually, at this time of year,” TTSSTFA president Joseph Brewster explained, “the association hosts two running events—the 5K run and the cross country. This year, because of Covid-19, we couldn’t, and noticed that students are not moving because they are all sitting online. They are on tablets, phones and laptops, so this initiative is custom-geared to get them to get up and move.
“The ‘Race Against Time’ is an individually-timed 20-minute run using a tracking app such as Strava, MapMyRun and Nike Run Club to track one’s time and distance. It’s about getting as far as you can before your time runs out.”
Gordon, Australia-based netballer Samantha Wallace and US-based distance runners Tonya Nero and Samantha Shukla have all done videos to promote the TTSSTFA event.
“Samuel Badree is supposed to be in as well,” said Brewster. “And there may be more: Evin Lewis, Rayad Emrit, Kenwyne Jones.”
The TTSSTFA president is hoping the virtual race attracts large numbers.
“Registration is easy. If you’re a secondary school student, you register through your school. Everybody else, you can go to the website, www.ttsstfa.com and register online. When you register, there’s a part for affiliate school. You type in the school of your nephew, your sister, your brother, or your old school as the case may be, and your points will go to that school.
“Our primary target group of course,” Brewster continued, “is our secondary school students. But everybody is invited to take part—teachers, retired teachers, university students, primary school students, parents… whether you are international, wherever you are in the world, you can take part.”
The main sponsors for “Race Against Time” are Blue Waters and the National Gas Company (NGC).
“Our prize structure is as follows: all participants will receive medals; our international participants will receive virtual certificates; our students who finish first and second in their respective age-groups will receive 7-inch tablets; university students who participate and finish first in the male and first in the female will also receive tablets.
“The school amassing the most points will receive five tablets that would go to needy students. When you register online and put a school name down as affiliate, your point goes to that school. And the students that take part from the school also contribute points.”