The 2017 Pan American Under20 100m champion, Khalifa St. Fort and the 2018 Commonwealth Games 200m champion, Jereem Richards have joined the Atlantic Sports Ambassador programme and its mission to inspire Trinidad and Tobago’s next generation of young athletes.
Toni Sirju-Ramnarine, Atlantic’s Vice-President of Corporate Operations welcomed St. Fort and Richards into the programme yesterday (June 21) and said their youthful optimism and confidence will help motivate primary school children to pursue their dreams in athletics and other fields of endeavor.
“Khalifa and Jereem are young, bright, talented and humble, everything a coach would want in an athlete and indeed everything a country would want in its representatives,” Sirju-Ramnarine said. “Atlantic is proud to welcome our newest Sports Ambassadors, bright stars with a bright future ahead of them, and we look forward to partnering with them in our initiatives that target the next generation.”
Khalifa St. Fort said she was honoured to help Trinidad and Tobago shine on the global stage. “It’s all about doing the best every time we as Sports Ambassadors enter a competition, and making sure that our performance and how we represent ourselves maintain a high standard,” St. Fort said. “We will work along with Atlantic to help youths realize that with determination they too can achieve their dreams.”
Jereem Richards – who hails from Point Fortin, the community where Atlantic’s liquefaction facility is located – explained that it was important for young people to remain dedicated to their schooling and enthusiastic about their goals. “Success is the result of hard work and putting in the time, there are no short cuts,” Richards said. “As Sports Ambassadors, we will play our part in helping to promote to young people a message of commitment, sacrifice and giving back to others.”
Earlier this year, both athletes were members of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation to the Commonwealth Games. St. Fort finished 6th in the 100m and was a member of the 100m relay team which placed 4th in the finals. Richards was the 200m champion and also a member of the fourth-placed 400m relay team.
In 2017, St. Fort won her second straight Pan American Junior Championship 100m title. Other accolades from her career include 100m silver medalist in the 2015 World Under18 Championships; 100m bronze medalist in the 2016 World Under20 Championships; and a member of the 5th placed Trinidad and Tobago 100m relay team in the 2016 Olympics.
St. Fort also holds national junior/CAC and national youth records with times of 11.06 and 11.19 respectively. One of the youngest World Championship sprint medalists to date, Richards is also one of a select few athletes who achieved professional status before graduating from high school.
Richards is the current national 200m title-holder and his distinguished career includes a 400m relay silver in the 2011 Pan American Under20 Championships; 100m relay gold in the 2012 National Championships; bronze in the 400m relay in the 2012 World Under20 Championships; bronze in the 400m relay in the 2012 World Indoor Championships; and bronze in the 100m relay in the 2013 CAC Championships. Richards also has a 200m bronze and is the 4x400m relay gold medalist with team TTO, from the 2017 World Championships.
In addition to his Commonwealth gold earlier this year, Richards’ achievements this season include a silver in the men’s half-lap race at the IAAF World Challenge Meet; 3rd place in the IAAF Diamond League’s 200m; 2nd place in the 44th Prefontaine Classic; and 3rd place in the Adidas Boost Boston Games.