Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hear the distant cheer

Today is a big day. You know it better than me. But it's a big day for me, as much as it is for you. I have stood in the stands and cheered my friends in our days when they donned the red-white jerseys and the red-gold-blue jerseys. I am sure you realise that every Trinitian has an embedded memory that he holds with reverence – of the men who wore those jerseys before them with pride and honour. That is why we honour the jersey so much. I cheered my friends with that same pride, of which I was once a shareholder, when I was in school.
But today is different. Though many thousand miles away, I will no longer be a spectator in the stands, because I will be with you on the field in spirit. We are bound by blood – by the bond of brotherhood… and in you, a part of me will take the field. You will be wearing a jersey that I could only dream of. In fact, today you are living a dream that many generations of Trinitians would sacrifice anything to be a part of. Take the time to feel the glory of the moment, but let it not engulf you. You are its guardian and keeper. You are also its master; not its slave.
From the day you first played for college, I suppose I have been your biggest fan. But I am yet to see you take the field as the oceans have separated me ever since. We may have planted the seeds of high expectations in you, but you nurtured them with your hard-work and sacrifice. Today the first buds of pride will blossom on its branches.
I must tell you how proud I am of you. Whether you sit on the bench or dash through the field, I will be there in spirit cheering you on… I will take those tackles with you… I will run with you towards the goal line. If you see a tear in my eyes, rest assured that they are tears of pride.
Today and the next two weeks belong to you. You are a shining star of a humble family and also of one of the greatest institutions in the land. Uphold the spirit of Trinity and of your family and everything else you represent, with courage and honour. Remember though that this is only the beginning… the first of many great journeys and memorable times. There is still a long way to go and many more challenges to overcome… and I will be with you cheering you on through every one of them…
Respice Finem!