BY AKEEM GREENE
Motor Racer, Kristian Jeffrey and the multi-talented Alisha Fortune were among the top awardees when the National Sports Commission (NSC) hosted its annual award ceremony on Wednesday at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown.
Jeffrey, who won Sportsman-of-the-Year award, was the Champion Driver of last year’s Caribbean Motor Racing Championships (CMRC) while Fortune copped the Sportswoman-of-the-Year award after an outstanding run at the World Masters Championships which was held in France.
Among the standout of the awards was TVG/ Guyana Times Journalist, Avenash Ramzan who for the sixth time won the Sports Journalist of the year award (non-print).
The key note for the awards ceremony were undoubtedly the words of Director of Sport Christopher Jones who said that a new dawn of sports has beckoned for Guyana and sportsmen and women will be treated with dignity.
Jones said “a new era has dawned in the way we treat our athletes, for years their efforts, dedication and sacrifice have gone largely unnoticed and under-appreciated”.
He added, “the winners must be afforded their due respect; no longer must athletes who work from 8am to 4:30 pm have to run home to put in work at community centre ground that lacks the basic facility of lights. No longer must our athletes who won these awards be treated with disrespect; the time has come for our sportsmen and women be recognised at national events; its time our sports personalities are afforded the right to national facilities, it’s time that a provision of house lots to our exceptional athletes be expedited”, the Director said.
Most notably the Director addressed the long-winded issue of the naming of the National Stadium at Providence, stating that “we have a duty to our cricketers in the naming of the stadium at Providence, which is still outstanding”.
He ended by stating that these recommendations will form part of the National Sports policy document that “must be concluded by the end of 2016”.
Minister within the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture and Sport, Nicolette Henry mentioned that the winners represent the crown of Guyana’s jewel, adding that they are a “Beacon of hope to the majority of young Guyanese.
The winners of the other 14 categories of the year for 2015 are as follows:
Junior Sportswoman of the Year- Chelsea Edghill (Table tennis).
Junior Sportsman of the Year- Narayan Ramdhani (Badminton)
Female Sports Personality of the Year- Luanna Fernandes (Proprietor of Woodpecker)
Male Sports Personality of the Year- Godfrey Munroe (President of the GTTA).
Female athlete of the Year with a disability- Deandre David (bronze medal winner at the 2015 Special Olympics).
Male athlete of the Year with a disability- Calvin Thomas (gold and silver medalist at the 2015 Special Olympics).
Sports Journalist Print- Franklin Wilson (Kaieteur News).
Most Improved Sports Association/Federation- Guyana Sports Shooting Federation.
Sports Association/Federation- Guyana Cricket Board.
Female Sports Official of the Year- Shelly Daly Ramdayan (tennis).
Male Sports Official of the Year- Anand Senasie (cricket).
Male Sports Coach of the Year- Linden Johnson (table tennis).
Sports Team of the Year- Guyana Squash Team. (Taken from Guyana Times)