Picking the "greatest" anyone or anything is always going to generate great debate. So it has been with the 50 Greatest Legends In Sport from Independence until now.
Looking at the list, it is a worthy one. Four-time Sportswoman of the Year Debra O'Connor for instance, has become synonymous with excellence in local badminton because of her sheer dominance in the 1980s when she won four consecutive Triple Crowns—in singles, doubles and mixed doubles--and also achieved the Triple Crown at Caribbean level.
Before Roger Daniel became the standard-bearer in shooting, Bert Manhin established the sport in the national consciousness. In his time, he won one gold, one silver and four bronze at the CAC Games and one silver at the Commonwealth Games.
Being in individual sports of lesser stature in the national consciousness, the high levels O'Connor and Manhin achieved, gave their events recognition in a way that others in a discipline like cricket simply did not have to work as hard to bring into focus.
Hockey Legends Sandra-Charles Montano, Stacey Siu Butt, Kwan Browne and others not on the "Greatest 50" list have had a similar effect.
My one misgiving about the whole exercise is that for the most part, there is not readily available or ample video footage of these athletes in their prime for later generations to enjoy and study. That is still a major failing of 2012 T&T, that it does not adequately preserve its history. How much if anything at all for instance, would 2012 Olympic shooter Daniel have seen of Manhin?
Conversely, I am sure that the visual impact of seeing Ato Boldon running in Olympics after Olympics and World Championships after World Championships has something to do with the current medal-winning crop of sprinters T&T now has.
I suppose exercises like nominating a top 50 can help in a way to inspire others. But for true, sustainable development of course, much more is required.
Something occurred to me as I went through that 50 Greatest list. Not many administrations received a mention.
Limitations of space would have been a consideration. But reader, how many coaches or association heads trip off your lips when you think "legend?"
The athletes will always be the biggest stars. But think about international football and you think about Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger almost as much as of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Robin Van Persie and Andres Iniesta.
In track and field, as phenomenal as Usain Bolt has been, he may not now have had six Olympic gold medals had it not been for coach Glen Mills' knowledge and expertise guiding him through training and competition. Yohan Blake is also a force in the sprints because of Mills' handling.
Even on T&T's Greatest 50 list, one can make the link between star performers and quality coaching.
The World Cup Soca Warriors of 2006 were taken through qualifying to the Germany World Cup by the highly experienced Dutchman Leo Beenhakker.
Even more outstandingly, T&T netball reached its pinnacle in 1979, not only because of the leadership of Cherril Peters and the shooting prowess of Jean Pierre on the court. It was the administrative vision and coaching ability of the late Lystra Lewis that first of all aided in the development of netball to the point where T&T possessed world class players by '79.
It was through the efforts of Lewis herself that T&T won the bid to host the World Championships. And then Lewis took up the challenge as coach for the series. Truly legendary stuff.
I wonder however, if there are any Lystra Lewises left in active life.
That combination of vision, expertise and total commitment to the task is not one to be easily found in any sphere, far less in one as financially unsatisfying as amateur sport. But it continues to be a cause for concern, the kind of training and preparation the present day generation is receiving.
Progress has clearly been made in certain areas--like track and field--where new talent in varied disciplines has emerged and is winning medals. However, while a sport like cycling has recently produced medal-winning cyclists at both junior and senior level like Njisane Phillip, Christopher Sellier and Quincy Alexander and a crop of female cyclists has begun to emerge; there is not in reality a national coaching programme. Not even at present, a national coach.
The T&T Pro League has a youth league attached to it. The Secondary Schools Football League, starting in two days' time, continues to give a host of young players the chance to play; and T&T compete at all the levels from under-17 come forward in both the male and female versions. Still, the national game has, arguably, never been at a lower level.
Something is missing. It is the kind of selfless, visionary brand of administration that seems to belong to another era.
Not sure how this will be recovered. But the impact of this lack is already becoming evident.
Think about this: Forget players who would have come through in the 1980s, how many since then would you say are shaping to be future legends? Do the same thing for cricket; basketball, tennis, etc.
How many did you come up with?
I look forward to see who emerges as time goes by. It is one of the pleasures of this business to be able to record history in the making.
Just not sure what kind of history the next 50 years will produce.