Spirit of Sport Awards (SOSA) Community Champion Kwanieze John was named the chef de mission for the Trinidad and Tobago team for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
At the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain on Wednesday, TTOC president Brian Lewis said the announcement was historic as the 24-year-old John was the youngest chef de mission named in the TTOC’s history.
“This appointment is part of our athlete-centred youth-oriented approach and is targetted at young people and we felt it was in keeping with the role the Youth Olympics are supposed to play,” Lewis said.
Lewis said in John, the Youth Ambassador at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore, the TTOC had found someone who is very involved in volunteer work with youth.
“She is from St Barb’s and a student at UTT and is an inspiration to young women and youth in sport . We also found she operates in accordance with the Olympic values--respect, excellence and friendship.
Jeannette Small was appointed the Youth Ambassador for 2014 while two other professionals, athletics trainer Asha De Freitas Moseley and nutritionist Tracey Pierre will be volunteers to guide athletes in the build up to the Nanjing games in their respective fields of expertise.
Of her appointment, John, an education officer at the TTOC for the past four years, said :”My reaction was I was surprised. Sometimes you are in a volunteer position and your work goes unnoticed but I do put in a lot of work at TTOC and I am honoured to be bestowed this responsibility” she said. “It will be demanding based on my experience from 2010.”
Lewis said the TTOC as part of its mandate and priority to an athlete-centred approach, will have formed an athlete welfare engagement programme and are engaged in talks with athletes for the formation of a TTOC athletes commission. The commission, which is expected to be up and running by June, will be led by top local female athlete Cleopatra Borel.