Sagicor Retains with Oliver; Republic’s Thomas does the 3peat

The Central Bank Plaza was completely transformed into a sporting arena for the 2017 CariFin Games Aerobics Burnout with synthesize rocking sounds and instructors making full use of the stage as if on high octane. The Plaza was packed with excited, screaming, flag waving fans, sweaty bodies moving to the hypnotic sounds being pumped through the speakers.

CariFin fans erupted with delight and excitement at the CariFin Aerobics Burnout 2017 which was held at the Central Bank Plaza on Wednesday May 03, 2017 at 5.30 p.m. The annual competition had fans enthralled and screaming from the word go, as over 100 participants representing 10 participating institutions from the financial services sector came together to determine who is the fittest and best exponents of the aerobics genre within the financial sector. The Aerobics Burnout is the 5th activity on the 10 event card in the 26th Edition of the Games.

Though two-time winner of the event Adona Joseph was unable to hold on to the aerobics crown for a 3rd straight year, coming from Sagicor’s camp was Cherisse Oliver who rose to the occasion and lit up the competition with her personal style and flavor that made her visibly entertaining to watch as well as being in favor with the judges’ score sheet.  Ms. Oliver reaction after winning the CariFin Aerobics Burnout was, “I feel very accomplished, according to most people I been exercising since in my mother’s womb and so I feel very accomplished, exercise has always been a part of my life!”

Among all the male competitors on the floor, Stephan Thomas looked most confident and in control with the instructions from the stage, the musical rhythm and timing. He was the 8th overall in a woman dominated event but was definitely a cut above the rest in the male category. Before coming to today’s aerobics burnout, he reminded himself, “I have to come good today and make the hat trick, it was evident that self motivation worked, I came out with the intention and that is what I accomplished.”

To choose the winner of the CariFin Aerobics event was no easy job, the final three on the floor were all women two former winners and the present winner were the last three standing. Falomi Marcano a triple crown winner of First Citizens, Adona Joseph, two-time winner and Cherisse Oliver both representing Sagicor.

The tension was rising as well as excitement for this faceoff. The instructors decided to hit the floor in a bid to select the winner. After 3 minutes on the floor, chinks started to show in the the 2016 champion armor, as Joseph couldn’t complete the push-up and her positioning was off for the execution of the exercise and she was warned with the yellow paddle. Continuing on the floor she encountered more difficulty and the red paddle came out and she was out of the competition. It was down to a two person battle and the floor was difficult for former three-time aerobics winner Falomi Marcano as well, it came down to a squat contest and Falomi wasn’t going as low as Cherisse, then to jumping on the spot, they kick in some aerobics moves but the damage was already done and the red flag came out for Falomi. As Falomi conceded defeat the celebration erupted for Cherisse and Sagicor, as she was lifted into the air by an eager fan; jumping, prancing, chanting, singing and flag waving continued. First Citizen camp started their own celebration next to Sagicor’s for their representative multiple winner Falomi Marcano.  The revelry went on for quite a while but the CariFin Media Team was standing by capturing the winner’s story with photos and video interviews amidst the celebration.
It took 1hour and 10 minutes to decide the winner of the CariFin Games 2017 Aerobics Burnout competition.

In the male category Republic Bank got two persons in the top three,  the overall winner male Stephan Thomas and 3rd place finisher – Peter St. Clair. In 2nd place was Guardian Group’s Alafia Whiskey.

Likewise Sagicor capture 1st and 3rd positions (Cherisse Oliver & Adona Joseph) with First Citizens taking 2nd place with Falomi Marcano.

Top 3 female and male winners in the CariFin Games Aerobics Burnout 2017.

Top 3 Female

1.      Cherisse Oliver- Sagicor

2.     Falomi Marcano – First Citizens

3.     Adona Joseph – Sagicor

Top 3 male

1.     Stephan Thomas – Republic Bank

2.     Alafia Whiskey – Guardian Group

3.     Peter St. Clair – Republic Bank



CariFin Games’ “Fittest” Woman of 2016 – Adona Joseph

In the year 2016, Adona Joseph received the most demanding and probably uncertain title such as the “Female Aerobic Champion” for the annual CariFin Games event. She first took part in CariFin Games in 2013 and continued in 2015 and 2016. As this was not her first year participating hopefully it won’t be her last!

How did Adona Joseph even prepare for CariFin Games?

Well she mentions that she doesn’t focus on preparing for CariFin Games per se; aerobic training is already part of her weekly routine and she genuinely enjoys doing it – at least for the most part! So the annual event presents itself as another avenue for Miss Joseph to keep fit.

Below is a detailed list of all her accomplishments thus far in CariFin Games for 2015 and 2016:

Date Event Location Time Position Held
Wednesday. 22nd April 2015 Savannah 1 Lap Queen’s Park Savannah 18:19 31
Wednesday, 29th April 2015 Green Mile Inside the Sand Track, Queen’s Park Savannah 7:19 37
Wednesday. 6th May 2015 Chancellor Challenge Lady Chancellor Road, Queen’s Park Savannah 16:18 17
Saturday, 28th November 2015 Shine Charity Walk & Run Nelson Mandela Park 54:38 96
Wednesday, 13th April 2016 Savannah 1 Lap Queen’s Park Savannah 18:33 59
Wednesday, 27th April 2016 Green Mile Inside the Sand Track, Queen’s Park Savannah 7:27 58
Wednesday, 11th May 2016 Chancellor Challenge Lady Chancellor Road, Queen’s Park Savannah 20:22 41
Sunday, 5th June 2016 Cross Country & Family Day Sevilla Gold Course, Caroni 25:36 4

Notably, Adona Joseph doesn’t focus on any specific philosophy about fitness and winning.
When she competes in CariFin Aerobics Burnout, she doesn’t go with the mindset to win but to know that she is capable of winning and she just tries to do her utmost best.
Growing up, Adona Joseph attended Providence Girls Secondary School on Belmont Circular Road in Belmont, Port of Spain. Ever since, Miss Joseph has been a dancer therefore she was always very active; taking dance classes all over Trinidad and Tobago. At a very young age, the 2016 CariFin Games “Fittest Woman” fell in love with aerobics and would enter little competitions at sports days or just participate for the fun of it; she even mentions “the music drives me!”

Presently, Adona Joseph works at Sagicor Life Inc. and holds the position of Supervisor of the Payroll and Benefits Administration, at the age of 35 years.
As exciting as it must be to be titled the “Female Aerobic Champion”, unfortunately Miss Joseph was unable to attend the awards function itself. Her accomplishment came as a complete shock the following day when one of her co-workers brought her trophies at the office. Although she may have missed the opportunity to hear her name being called on stage and get to walk through applauses to receive the trophies with photos being taken and memories being created, it doesn’t take away from the fact that she still is 2016 CariFin Games “Female Aerobic Champion.”

However, Miss Joseph does not only excel in the aerobic department. The accomplished athlete has shown a successful balance between running and aerobics. Within the CariFin Games, Adona Joseph placed 2nd in the ‘Overall Runners’ category for females and she managed to place 1st in the ‘Aerobics Burnout Overall Winners’ for females, as discussed earlier, both in the same of year of 2016. Additionally, the table above depicting Adona Joseph’s accomplishments elaborates more on her running victories but throughout her aerobic dominance is expressed.

With no doubt, it doesn’t end at CariFin Games for Miss Joseph. She won “Best Female Dancer” and “Best Female Actress” at the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition years ago.
As for 2016, Adona Joseph also participated in the Scotia Bank’s Annual 5K for Cancer where she placed 7th overall. Additionally, a group of Sagicor employees – including her – competed in Tobago’s Sea to Sea Marathon, where they did the 10K.
With such achievements, one might consider Adona Joseph a champion in the financial sector. Certainly, she is just happy to put both her name and Sagicor’s name down in history of the CariFin Games annual event.

With regards to Sagicor in the beginning, the team behind CariFin Games wasn’t getting the high level of support from the institution but somehow things seemed to improve, could it be because of Miss Joseph’s high-profile winning to cause such a positive change?

Miss Joseph responded saying,

“Maybe it did, but I know Sagicor is an advocate for health and wellness and so they support staff’s participation in the CariFin Games 100%. This is just one of the many health and fitness programmes they offer to staff.”

Apart from Sagicor’s mentioned support, Adona Joseph thinks CariFin Games is a great programme offering opportunities for people in the financial sector to keep fit, to network and generally just to have fun.
Miss Joseph shared her most cherished memories in CariFin Games as a participant and champion,

“I would say winning the aerobic burnout two years in a row (as the most cherished memory). Also, that moment when it’s down to the last two contestants and you hear your co-workers rooting for you at the side, even strangers shouting your name and in my mind all I’m thinking ‘when is this going to end!’

CariFin Games aims to raise awareness for an active lifestyle but also wants to build a competitive environment where people could strive for excellence and be the best among their peers and within the industry. As many would agree with their missions and objectives, and whilst on the topic of Miss Joseph’s success, she shared advice – or as some may consider it fitness tips – on being a successful runner and aerobic performer to the young and excited females entering the financial sector and interested in keeping healthy and fit.

“My advice would just be to always believe in you.

There is something great in each and every one of us.

Don’t try to be like someone else but try to be the best you!”

As for recommendations towards future CariFin Games, she shares that they can probably take a look at the monetary prize structure, especially for the aerobics competition.
Certainly, for 2017 CariFin Games we can look forward to Miss Adona Joseph participating, by God’s grace.
Miss Joseph plans to just keep up with her weekly workout routine in order to prepare for this year. Furthermore, she will try her best to successfully defend her title in 2017.


For Many, Aerobics Is An Activity For Women.

Male Aerobics 2016But two-time CariFin aerobics champion Stephan Thomas is breaking this stereotype and showcasing his love for the sport and hoping to encourage other men to get involved.
Thomas earned the top spot in the aerobics event at both the 2015 and 2016 CariFin Games, as a representative for Republic Bank Ltd (RBL).
And this year he will be returning to defend his title.

Thomas said he won by pure luck in 2015 as just as he was about to drop out, the other remaining competitor dropped out before him.
In 2016, he said better preparation and practice allowed him to take home the first place prize again.
For him, aerobics is simply a great exercise which helps a person to develop proper balance and rhythm.
And he is not bothered by the perception that it appeals mostly to women.

 I’ve never seen it as a thing for females only, so getting involved in it was like second nature to me,” Thomas said during an interview.

In fact, he said, he has been involved in aerobics since the age of 14 and into sports sine age 5.
“I love aerobics and spin class,” he said.
Thomas has been spreading his love for aerobics to the men around him and noted more and more males are getting involved.
“My trainers are male, my brother is involved, some of my partners…I actually got them involved in it,” he said.
He added that the biggest problem for men was developing the “timing” or co-ordination needed for such a fast paced activity.
“Men tend to say they don’t have the timing. That is the biggest issue for men with regards to doing aerobics. They may not have the timing or co-ordination.”
But once you practice regularly, and get into it, he said it becomes easy.

The benefits of aerobics is also tremendous, Thomas said.
“It is high cardio and it also increases your rhythm, timing and co-ordination. And it is a good way to build your fitness level.”
Having competed under an RBL banner, Thomas said RBL continues to recognize and celebrate his CariFin achievements.
The bank proudly displayed his trophies, he added.

Apart from the aerobics event, Thomas also participated in and placed 5th in the cross country race last year.
In 2017, he plans to attempt the race again and hopes to improve on his time.
He also plans to participate in the savannah run.
On the CariFin Games in general, Thomas said it is a great initiative to promote healthy lifestyles as well as comingling among persons in the financial sector.
He suggested the Games could expand to include sports like football and cricket as well as track & field and sprinting events.


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