Abijah Phillip

Abijah Phillip


Who is Abijah Phillip?

Undeniably the “Best Male Athlete” of CariFin Games 2016, his scores alone can justify as he placed first in all his games.

Mr Abijah Phillip, currently at the age of 21 years, was born and raised in the hometown of Morvant in Trinidad and still resides there. This year, 2016, marked the first year that Abijah participated in the CariFin Games held by the CariFin Fitness Club. Abijah as a teenager attended the school Trinity College, in Moka, Maraval. There, he dabbled in sports such as football and track and field. From ever since, his passion for sports was alive and well.

At present, Mr Phillip holds a position in the financial services sector – specifically Republic Bank at Independence Square, Port of Spain – as a back office teller.

He learned about the health and fitness CariFin Games event through a friend at work and has been eager about it ever since! He was mainly excited to learn that the financial sector did something physical and not just in office business-related activities. He added,
“They have a nice culture that they created, a very close-knit – especially the organizers – they have a close-knit bond that they try to share throughout the competition itself, and it is really nice; it was a competitive but friendly environment – a nice one to be part of.”

His accomplishments thus far for the year 2016 at the CariFin Games are as follows:

On Wednesday April 13th 2016 for the “Savannah 1 Lap” at Queen’s Park Savannah: Abijah placed 1st with the time 14:05
On Wednesday April 27th 2016 for the “Green Mile” at Inside the Sand Track Queen’s Park Savannah: Abijah placed 1st with the time 5:30
On Wednesday May 11th 2016 for the “Chancellor Challenge” at Lady Chancellor Road, Queen’s Park Savannah: Abijah placed 1st with the time 13:59
On Sunday June 5th 2016 for the “Family Day” Sevilla Golf Course, Caroni: Abijah placed 1st with the time 27:29

3 pic in 1


Mr Phillip, when asked in an interview, “How did you get to be the best of the CariFin Games 2016?”

He responded, “I can’t say that I am the best but I just tried my best and I don’t know how else to explain that.” He continued to describe that he believes his “playful upbringing” contributed to his present day success, especially in sports and fitness.
As a first time participant of the CariFin Games, Mr Phillip undeniably achieved the 2016’s “Best Male Athlete” accolade.
So, how does he stay motivated?

Mr. Phillip genuinely enjoys running and friendly competition, he added: “competition is always fun!” He is also positively influenced by his favorite runner, and possible role model: Mohamed Muktar Jama “Mo” Farah, CBE (age 33 years) – a British distance runner. On the track, he mostly competes over 5000 meters and 10,000 meters, but has run competitively from 1500 meters to the marathon. Mr. Phillip describes him as, “very hardworking and very talented, as well as he really enjoys what he does,” which essentially keeps him motivated.

More about Mr. Phillip?

Extending on his favorites, he was asked who is his favorite musical performer is; but he couldn’t pin point one specifically. As for his favourite food or dish, same answer as he isn’t much of a “food person.”
He was asked, “If you had time and money what is that one thing you would like to do or place you would like to go?”
He responded, “First and foremost, go to university, maybe UWI to study physical therapy. Secondly, an event would be the Olympics and World Cup.” All which adds to the young and motivated character he is that is passionate about sports, health and fitness.

What is the man of the article’s personal philosophy about winning?
“Everybody wins sometimes, and everybody loses sometimes; just work hard and always try your best!”
However, when entering into the CariFin Games, Mr. Phillip didn’t know what to expect, he just went in with a positive and open mind about his chances at winning these games. But when asked,

“What does it mean to him to win the Best Male Athlete accolade in CariFin Games?”
He responded saying, “it was enjoyable, it didn’t mean something major but it was an enjoyable thing that I got to participate in and enjoy the comradery of the competition.”
But, how did Abijah Phillip prepare for CariFin Games? He explained that he trained by himself: where he ran in his neighbourhood of Morvant after work. An average of two to three days per week, he’d jog for 15 minutes per day.

Apart from CariFin Games, Mr Phillip didn’t compete or participate in any other health and fitness related events in 2016 which he owed to his left knee injury; which doesn’t allow him to compete or train often. This injury he got while road training (i.e. running) back in 2012 where he sprained his knee and since then it never fully recovered. In the past though, he mentioned his secondary school days. Trinity College annually hosts a cross-country race and that he won for two years.

When asked if he think he could defend the title of “Best Male Athlete” successfully in 2017,
“If I do it will be extremely difficult because I know a few persons well who are trying to dethrone me.” He added, “however, as long as I am in the financial sector and alive and healthy, I plan to compete in the CariFin Games.”
Mr Phillip even mentioned some advice and recommendations for future games,
“Just maintain the enthusiasm that they currently have for the event, it will continue to grow, because right now the path they’re on seem to be very good, and with this it can continue to grow because it was a very good initiative.”

Mr Phillip leaves the message to his past competition that it is was a pleasure competing with them and he looks forward to further competitions; and he recommends to future participants,

“Always try your best, never take anything too seriously, winning is secondary to enjoyment and staying healthy is a lot cheaper than getting sick.”

Abijah receiving his prize

Abijah Phillip receiving his trophy from Junior Bereton



They came, they saw and they definitely conquered.

The 2016 CariFin Games are now in the books and the duo of Abijah Phillip and Deodath Harrikissoon were the ones standing tallest at the end of the Cross Country event on Sunday evening.
The Cross Country was the main attraction in CariFin’s Family Day at the spacious Sevilla Golf Course, and Phillip and Harrikissoon stepped up to the occasion. The course was no easy one as the competitors had to endure some rugged and hilly terrain before they could make their ways to the finish line. The heavy afternoon downpour would not have helped the runners as they went through the grassy areas of the course either, but they all took up the challenge admirably.

Abijah Phillip

Abijah Phillip

Phillip, who won all the previous running events at this year’s games –One Lap Savannah, Green Mile and Chancellor Challenge- was challenged early in the Cross Country run as Guardian’s Kevon Gomez surged ahead of him. However, Phillip was not unfazed by Gomez’s early burst and he gradually reeled in his competitor as the race went on.

It was a challenging run but I tried to stick to my run, Phillip said after the race. “I didn’t get distracted by (Gomez’s) tactics. I just stuck to my run and it worked out for me.

There were no surprises then when Phillip was the first competitor seen coming up the hill and heading towards the home stretch. The calm Phillip even afforded a bit of a smile as he bent the corner towards the finish line. Phillip finished the race in a time of 27:29, while Gomez finished second in a time 28:08 despite tiring badly. Gomez’s Guardian compatriot, Kris Deonan, finished third in a time of 28:18.

“It was different,” Phillip said in reference to the course. But the Republic Bank employee had taken some runs along the Lady Young Rd in Morvant prior to the course and it seemed to set him in good stead. “Well I actually had to jump over some of the mud but it was difficult. The up and down was really difficult.”

While the men had to make three laps of the 2.2 km course, their female counterparts were required to make two laps. A strong finish from the evergreen Ansa Financial Services’ Christine Regis propelled her into first place with a time of 23:33. Regis was second with less than 300 metres to go, but she was able to find enough gas in her tank to pass Guardian’s Jileta Candace Landeau before entering the home stretch. Landeau finished just six seconds behind Regis while last year’s female Cross Country winner and current aerobics champion Adona Joseph finished third in a time of 25:36.

The Fun Run, which was a less-tasking one lap event, was won by RBL’s Teon Jack. The young Jack sped out ahead of the pack at the beginning of the race and he never opted to look back as he finished the course in a time of 12:30. RBC’s Roger Cupidore finished second in 13:48 while Unit Trust’s Sydel Mollineau finished third in a time of 14:12.

Unit Trust’s Kyrstal Awong was able to bring home the bacon in the female’s Fun Run though, as she won in a time of 17:50. Central Bank’s Karyn Stewart finished second in a time of 18:04 while ANSA’s Annette Richardson finished third in a time of 20:10.

Deodath Harrikisson

Deodath Harrikissoon

In the Fun Walk, Harrikissoon was able to continue his winning streak as he notched a fourth straight walking triumph. Last year’s female Fun Walk winner, Christine Villafana, excitingly matched Harrikissoon tit-for-tat at the beginning of the race. However, the experienced Harrikissoon was able to pull away from Villafana and the rest of the pack as he strutted to the finish line in a time of 18:41. Guardian’s Christopher Reid finished second in the men’s race in a time of 20:11, while Harrikissoon’s FCB compatriot Neil Juman finished third in the men’s race in a time of 20:48.

Harrikissoon, who goes about his walking races so effortlessly, claims that he has no special techniques for his walking. However, he credits a healthy lifestyle and diet for keeping him in top shape.

I have a kinda motto saying ‘my wealth is my health’ and I live by that,” Harrikissoon said. “I try to eat very healthy. I think about what I eat and as an athlete I look at what I’m eating.

Harrikissoon, who was once a professional boxer, pointed to the usefulness of the CariFin Games in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well. “It helps a lot to relieve some stress because the banking sector is a lot of stress for the employees (…) if a person can do at least half an hour of exercise per day it could relieve a lot of stress and they could be very healthy,” Harrikissoon said.

Tessa Weeks

Tessa Weeks

The Republic Bank ladies ended their games with another dominant walk of their own as they occupied the first four positions in their field. Tessa Weekes copped her second straight walking event with a time of 19:26, which was only bettered by Harrikissoon, while Villafana finished second and fourth overall in a time of 20:37. Keshona and La Toya George rounded off the familiar RBL sweep; walk on ladies.