Two of T&T’s most recognised athletes of 2012 Olympic Games, medallists Keshorn Walcott and Lalonde Gordon, have been nominated for five awards for the second edition of the Spirit of Sport Awards, which will be held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on December 28.
The gala event, dubbed Red, White and Black, was launched yesterday at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, with Walcott and Gordon nominated for the bulk of the awards, while fellow T&T representatives at the London 2012 Olympics, Njisane Phillip and George Bovell III, were nominated for four and three awards, respectively.
The event is an initiative of the Sport Company of T&T (SporTT) and the Ministry of Sport. Walcott, 19, is favourite to walk away with the top awards, after he became the first T&T athlete since Hasely Crawford to capture a gold medal for T&T. Walcott stunned the world after he threw 84.58m (a national record) in the javelin event, which also saw him become the youngest athlete and the second non-European contestant to take the field event’s most coveted prize.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Gordon, also stands a strong chance of taking several accolades for two bronze medal performances in the 400m and the 4x400m events in the summer. He became the first athlete from Tobago to earn an Olympic medal.
Both Walcott and Gordon have been nominated in the Breakthrough Athlete, Male Athlete of the Year and the Sport Performance of the Year categories. Walcott has also been proposed for the Record Breaking Performance and Consistent Performer awards, while Lalonde will vie for the “Comeback Performance and Team of the Year award.
The Male Athlete award will be contested between Walcott, Gordon, Bovell, Phillip and cricketer Sunil Narine.
The five nominees for the Female Athlete award include, Merissa Aguilleira (cricket), Kelly-Ann Baptiste (athletics), Cleopatra Borel (athletics), Jodi Goodridge (cycling) and last year’s three award recipient Anisa Mohammed (cricket).
The other awards include: Community Programme, Community Champion, Corporate Champion, Journalist (Print), Journalist (Electronic), Athlete With Disability (Intellectual), Athlete With Disability (Physical), Family Team, Manager, Coach and Emerging Athlete.
After the nominations for awards at the main event were completed, several “mini awards” were distributed to communities, teachers, coaches and schools, which displayed excellence, both on and off the field of play.
An excellent season in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), where it copped the Big-Five trophy, Carapichaima East Secondary picked up the title for Best Performing School. “Caps’” forward Shaquille Holder, top scorer in the Central Zone this season, collected the prize on behalf of the school, which became the first team from the zone to lift the trophy.
Physical Education teacher at Trinity College East Aaron Pollard, was handed the Educator award, while amateur football’s outstanding performer Cunupia Football Club took the Community Team award.
Millennium Basketball Academy, led by Albert Lee Young and Lenny Guy, took the Community Group. Well respected medic Dr Terence Babwah was acknowledged in the Technical Team Member award, with Andrew Lewis, leader of three coaching schools in Vessigny, Guapo and Tobago, rounding off the prizes for his work as a Community Coach.
The main event, which is just over two weeks away will be hosted and spearheaded by athletes only, and dedicated to the country’s supporters according to SporTT’s communications manager, Adrian Raymond.
Minister of Sport Anil Roberts was scheduled to give the feature address, but instead took up coaching duties with Bovell, who will compete in the Istanbul, Turkey leg of the FINA World Cup, which begins today. Raymond said that Roberts was also initially nominated for Coach of the Year, but declined to accept.