The Red Carpet was rolled out as Grenada’s Sports Personalities were celebrated at the Spice Basket at Beaulieu, St. George’s last week Saturday.
Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist in 2012 and 2016, Kirani James once again was crowned as being the 2016 Male Sportsman of the Year at the gala sports awards ceremony that was put on by the Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC).
James first won the title in 2009, and since then he has continued to win the title due to his feats at the international level.
James won the 400m Olympic Gold at the London Games in 2012 running a time of 43.94, and at the Rio 2016 Olympics, took the Silver Medal in a time of 43.76 secs.
Female Cricketer, Afy Fletcher was declared the Female Sports Personality for 2016.
Fletcher who is from LaFillette, St. Andrew’s was consistently selected in 2016 for West Indies One-Day International and T-20 Teams, and was a member of the team that won the 2016 World T-20 Championship in India.
As a bowler, the female cricketer took seven wickets from seven matches, including three for 12 against England, and two for 16 against India.
The top Junior Awards went to Anderson Peters and Netballer Karesha Thomas.
In 2012, Peters represented Grenada in the field events at the Carifta Games and medaled.
In the same year, Peters also medaled at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in El Salvador and also won Gold in javelin at the Carifta Games that took place in Grenada last year, and was voted the most outstanding athlete of the meet.
Peters, a former student of St. David’s Catholic Secondary School, won a bronze medal at the Trinidad Hampton Games, and at the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) Championships in the British Virgin Islands.
The athlete represented Grenada at the World Youth Championship in Poland and threw a distance of 79.65 metres to take bronze and in the process established a Grenada and OECS record.
Peters is currently on a full scholarship at Mississippi State University in the United States.
Thomas represented Grenada in the senior and under-23 levels as a young netballer, and has played netball, basketball and volleyball for Grenada at the Windward Islands Schools Games.
She started playing netball at the age of 11.
Level One Table Tennis Coach from Gouyave, St. John’s, Rosemarie Dinnah was awarded as the most outstanding coach for 2016.
Lifetime achievement awards were presented to former General Secretary of the Grenada Football Association, Ambrose Phillip, and former Principal of the St. John’s Christian Secondary School, George Wilson.
Recognition was also given to the seven Olympians who represented Grenada at the Rio Games last year.
Motivational Speaker, Edward “Eddie” Frederick who was the Guest Speaker encouraged the athletes to aim for excellence.
Frederick indicated that they cannot become an athlete of excellence if high on the list of their priorities is “hanging out at the bus terminus in town.”
“Let your name get called in the right circles for the right reasons, and the commitment you make and will be the best you can make will be met with confidence taking over and carrying you to your destiny,” he told the sportsmen and sportswomen.
According to Frederick, the theme he chose for his presentation is “Anything worth doing, is worth doing with Excellence.”
The Guest Speaker admonished the sporting personalities to look beyond where they are to where they want to be, adding that if they want prosperity, wealth and abundance in every area of their life do the things with which they engage themselves with excellence.
“When you are committed to excellence, the goal helps to keep you focus,” he remarked.
Frederick stated that there is only one single reason why many people never become successful.
“That is because we are unwilling to take responsibility which is hard, driving, continual work, the courage to be committed and disciplines,” he said.
The Motivational Speaker warned that complacency “keeps us in mediocrity”, and indicated that mediocrity has never been and will never be one of his strong points.
Frederick said it is good to be the best locally and regionally, but their best will not be good enough until they hitch their wagon to the international star.
He advised the sports people that now they have reached the pinnacle of their disciples locally, they should not settle there.
“Athletes, sportsmen, sportswomen, fix your sights further than just beneath your very noses for there are oceans out there in your journey,” he said.
The Guest Speaker also implored the nominated athletes to make discipline a major force in their lives.
He said their behaviour and attitude on and off the field must be consistent with being the outstanding sports personality that they will want people to consider them to be.
He told them if they want to excel in their sporting discipline they should think, “big.”
Sports Minister Roland Bhola commended all of the awardees and congratulated all their respective associations for having undertaken the task to determine the most outstanding sports personalities.
Minister Bhola said it must be recognised that the time and efforts the athletes invest in their respective discipline is no simple matter.
He said the honour bestowed on the country’s top athletes does and will continue to have a domino effect on other athletes.
The Minister reiterated government’s commitment to honour the Olympic athletes, which he said will take place “very early in the second half of this year.”
In addition, the GOC presented the Rio Olympian Team with a token as a means of appreciation for their efforts.
The Sports Minister reported on the stewardship of his ministry during the past year, which he described as being event-filled.
He said the Ministry of Sports enjoyed healthy and harmonious relationship with all the sporting associations.
Bhola also highlighted the successes in a number of sporting disciplines including netball, cricket, football, boxing, swimming, bodybuilding, and the Windward Islands Secondary School Games.
The Sports Minister pledged his ministry’s commitment to doubling its efforts during this year to harness the opportunities and deal with the successes while continuing to identify new and emerging talents.
GOC President Royston La Hee presented the ceremony with an update on the construction of the building to house the GOC Headquarters at Morne Rouge, St. George’s.
La Hee said the project, which met many disappointments along the way, is scheduled to be completed in December.
He said the building will provide the country with a facility that will not just meet the needs of the local sporting organisations, but will be a home for everyone.
“I think it will be a building that we all will be proud of, and so I look forward to its completion at the end of the year,” he added.