TT cricketer Khary Pierre said Success Laventille Secondary School played an instrumental role in him fulfilling his dream of being a national cricketer.
Yesterday, Pierre along with fellow national cricketers Akeal Hosein and Amir Jangoo, visited the school as part of a Zaheer Ali Foundation workshop entitled Motivating Our Youth to Excel in Sport.
Ali, a former national and West Indies Under-15 cricketer, started the Zaheer Ali Foundation (ZAF) in 2013 with a mission of shaping the future by moulding our youth and fostering greater community cohesion. The sponsors of the event yesterday were Angostura LLB and Republic Bank Limited. Among those who spoke at the workshop were public relations officer at Angostura Rhonda Betancourt and principal of Success Laventille Hamida Baksh.
Pierre, who attended Success Laventille from 2003 to 2008, said the school played a major role in his development.
“A big part (this school played in my life). The coach here Aslim Mandol was like a father to me when I was here. He had me under his wings, he always told me I will reach far. I was very dedicated, I worked hard and I always had the dream of playing at the highest level which is West Indies cricket,” Pierre said.Pierre has not played for West Indies yet, but he has played for the TT Red Force and the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.
Pierre said he felt the need to give back to the youngsters, especially in the area where he grew up.
Pierre said, “It is very important (to encourage the children). Myself coming from this school and from this area it is very important that you motivate the youths.”
The left-arm spin bowler also informed the youngsters to pay attention to their school work. “(We must) keep them focused on the job at hand, not only sports but in academics as well because you must have something to fall back on. It is very important that if you like a sport you further it in terms of practising hard and working hard, but also balancing it with your academics because it is very important.”
At the workshop, the students participated in exercises that were geared towards teamwork and communication in sport.
Ali said one of the workshop’s goals was to help the young athletes in the school reach their fullest potential.
“The foundation decided to partner with the Success Laventille School and with corporate TT particularly Angostura Limited LLB brand and Republic Bank Limited, to come in to assist the sporting athletes in the school to achieve their full potential,” Ali said. Ali added, “What we have recognised is that there is a lot of talent, but the talent is not being transformed and we recognise that the deficiency may lie in what we refer to as the soft skills (such as) the mental factors.”
Others who were part of the workshop were managing director of the ZAF Haleema Ali-Sisbane, corporal Lyndon Fraser, coach/teacher at Success Laventille Aslim Mandol and Dr Varma Deyalsingh.