Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The day Antao ticked off the Goans in Mombasa

SERAPHINO ANTAO, the Goan superstar, was not a man who bit his tongue. He said what was troubling him. He had a bitter of a temper, and who could deny him that as most athletes are by nature pretty highly strung. However, he often chose his words carefully. Yet, when life in the fast lane became a bit of wild whirlwind, he would ask a friend to write some of his speeches. There were times when it was the speechwriter talking and not the real Antao.

However, there was one day when he said what he ad to say to the Goans and the Coastal community in general. It was recorded by the local media:

Antao criticises
poor support
by community

Seraphino Antao, the Mombasa sprinter who won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Perth, said in Mombasa on Saturday that the public in general and a community, in particular, could assist in a great way in fostering, encouraging Kenya sportsmen and sportswomen who showed promise. “This attitude I regret to say sadly lacking in my own community,” he added.

Antao was speaking at the Goan Institute ground at a rally held in his honour by the Goan community.

He continued: “Many of our members, who hold high positions in sports organisations, clubs, institutions and elsewhere, tend to forget the purpose of accepting such offices.

“To the best of my knowledge and experience, these people accept to serve only for the sole purpose of getting into the limelight.

“Before I left for Europe at the beginning of last year and my subsequent participation in the Commonwealth Games at Perth, there were a number of doubting Thomases in this country, but I hope my achievements will now have confounded the worst of my enemies.

He singled out his coach Ray Batchelor for special mention: “I am sure he is proud that his efforts in training me have not been wasted.”

The highlight of the rally was a presentation to Antao of an address signed by the presidents of the Mombasa Goan Community, the Goan Institute and St Francis Xavier’s Tailor’s Society on behalf of their members.

The address, which was read by Mr Archie Fernandes, president of the Mombasa Goan Community, said Antao “epitomised all that is grand in Goan sporting endeavour.”

In a football match held during the rally, Bardez beat Salcette 3-2.

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