JEHUE Gordon is not retiring from track and field as yet, but he is keen to help the future crop of track and field athletes, as he takes up a role as a director on the executive body of the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA).
The 30-year-old, who copped gold in the men's 400-metre hurdles at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, was elected a director on the slate led by president George Commissiong.
During an interview, Gordon, who has competed sporadically since 2019, said, "Competing on the track is definitely on hold for now."
Asked if he would still keep active, he replied, "I would still maintain some sort of fitness."
On his election as an NAAA director, Gordon said, "It feels great to understand that the youth actually has a voice in terms of how we move forward, because it's actually the youth who is affected by the decisions that are made."
He continued, "I've had congratulatory messages and best wishes from all walks of society - old, young, sporty, non-sporty, administrative, non-administrative. I look forward to the challenges ahead. I've never failed at anything that I put my mind to.
I look forward to the great things that the youth, and the current administration, have to bring forward for the sport of track and field.
Gordon said he does not regret making this new step, into an administrative role.
All decisions, throughout my life, I've gotten advice, and the end result would always be my decision to make, he said. "Once I make a decision and I'm comfortably firm in my decision, then there will always be good and bad things that would come out of it. But it's with the love that I continue to do things and that is why I continue to succeed in everything that I do."
He plans to do his best to see a reinvigoration of hurdling among the budding crop of track and field athletes.
"I think my connection with hurdles is very strong. I have a lot of contacts, both locally and internationally, for greater athletes' support. My current agent, Emmanuel Hudson, has supported me and he also extended his arm for any resource that I may need.
I'm still a part of the HSI group, with Ato Boldon (and) Richard Thompson. I think they would definitely want to put in place some sort of talent recruitment and talent identification, not necessarily only for hurdles but throughout the entire sport of track and field."""
About his hopes for track and field in 2022, with or without the covid19 restrictions, Gordon commented, "First of all, it's to really understand the landscape. I'm in a position now where I'm willing to learn, I'm willing to grow and I'm willing to work. Those are my three objectives currently.
"Throughout that process, I would like to give great input in terms of helping bring track and field back, where we are able to play again, where we are able to understand some of the needs of the athletes on the ground with regard to meets, scholarships and support.
We also have a problem where the talent pool we have currently in Trinidad is drying up, and we need to find new ways to identify and recruit talent. That is something, with the limitations that we are faced with, I think would be some of the burning things that we need to focus on."
"We are still in a pandemic but we need to find a way to understand and to reintroduce sports again, in that capacity, where athletes can go out, to feel safe and compete, to feel as if they have some form of purpose again. Speaking with some of the athletes, they're not feeling motivated at this current point in time.
We are seeing a lot of the numbers falling off because of an opposition to the vaccine and it's up to the parents in some instances, with their child, if to take the vaccine. It is a difficult situation but we need to stay on the ground and understand what the key stakeholders are really looking to achieve, in the short-term future, which would be in three or six months."""