FIFA Vice President Jack Warner kept his promise to the Hermitage Presbyterian School by joining them in their annual three kilometers walkathon “Moulding Today’s Minds for Tomorrow” on Friday morning on the Dumfries Road, La Romaine.
One hundred and twenty students with placards showing messages to the “Soca Warriors” along with school principal Gemma Ramadoo, members of staff and parents took part in the procession along the Dumfries Road from 7: 30am ending at the Palmiste Park.
The walkathon was also done in recognition of the achievements of the “Soca Warriors” and the students appeared thrilled to be able to walk side by side with the TTFF Special Advisor as the sounds of Maximus Dan’s “I am a “Soca Warrior” and other popular 2006 Soca tracks blasted on an accompanying vehicle with loud speakers.
Ramadoo said she had made the request to Warner for him to be part of the School’s activity and she was all smiles when he made time from hectic schedule on the eve of his departure for London to join in strides with the young pupils. Residents and others in their passing vehicles all admired and grasped at the opportunity to say “Well Done” and “Keep the Flag” flying as they spotted Warner and the students.
“At the end of the day I don’t want ever the country’s success to be relegated to the background Efforts are being made to do that and to tarnish my name and my efforts,” Warner said relation to his presence at the School in spite of recent allegations against him.
“I do not think they will succeed but aside from that, with every bit of strength I have in my body, I will at every turn, make every effort to ensure the history which this country has made over the last few months and the next few months at least be kept on the front burner. Let those who want to denigrate Jack Warner and hope that by doing that it will help with their ulterior motive of putting the success on the back burner then let them do it. I shall continue to maintain the high ground and maintain a situation whereby the smallest country ever with the biggest passion ever is on the biggest show on earth. I commend Mr (Lawrence) Duprey for instance for donating two houses to two very humble individuals who were part of the team and I hope that things like that will serve as a catalyst to get other people and the Government to move forward,” Warner said.
The CONCACAF President, who earlier this month donated over 100 footballs to schools and clubs in the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation, also addressed the students at the end of the walkathon as they also sang a song in honour of him and later presented with a Cup in appreciation of his efforts and then placed their placards on the school’s front fence in recognition of the achievements of Dwight Yorke and his teammates.
“As young people you must always stand up for what you believe, and if what you believe is right and is not popular, still stand up for what you believe because one day what is right will be popular. Today I am proud, as all of you are, that we have made it. There are some useful lessons that we must learn from and that includes that as young people, you too can achieve. Whether your school is in Hermitage, whereby most times you get nothing or whether it is in Woodbrook or St Clair there is no reason for example, if you believe, that you would not be able to say one day I will be a Soca Warrior. All of you in some way should aspire to become a Soca Warrior. But not because of the fame and the glory, money and the TV so much but do so because of the discipline football teaches you. Football is a school of life and it also teaches you a way of life.
Do not allow anyone to lower your standards.”
Warner also announced that he would adopt the school and assist in its development in sport and provision of musical instruments as well as assuring that they would have a chance to meet the members of the “Soca Warriors” team during the May 12 Road show.